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Making It in San Diego: Mom starts co-op for free babysitting between friends

Posted: 11:34 AM, Jul 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-16 18:24:08-04
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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Santee mother Carolan McCollough is hoping to bring babysitting into the 21st century for East County families.

She's started a babysitting co-op so families can sit for each other for free. Rather than exchanging money, there's a point system.

"I was just trying to find cheaper ways to babysit, and my mom told me about a co-op that people did way back when she was a mom," said McCollough.

McCollough uses the platform Komae to organize the exchange. Two Akron, Ohio moms developed the app after they started an old fashioned co-op with ten friends. After one year, the group had saved $10,000 collectively.

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How the Komae App works:

  • Download the app and fill in your profile.
  • Invite friends to join your personal Village.
  • Post sit requests and offer to help your friends.
  • The app automatically banks points to keep it balanced
  • Sit for each other and don't pay sitters anymore

Through the app, parents can list their kid's favorite foods, allergies, and nap schedules. You can also list the breed and habits of your pets. Anything to help your friends and sitters give the best care to your family.

You can also use the app to arrange meet-ups with other parents to get to know them better.

The company says information on the app is kept 100% secure, only visible to people on your approved friends list.

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Komae was recently acquired by Wana Family Network in Los Angeles and the app is now free for users. Eventually Komae will be rebranded as Wana.

Right now McCollough only has a few members in her co-op but is hoping it will grow.

The hope is parents in her network will not only gain more financial freedom but have the chance to go on a date night or run kid-free errands.

Other babysitting co-op platforms include: