Babysitting coops, in which a group of parents agree to exchange babysitting services with each other aways sound like a great idea — until you realize that someone has to keep track of who babysat whom and manage a complicated point system. And then there are those times you need a sitter, but none of your neighbors are around.

Enter a smart service called SittingAround.

SittingAround is a valuable online source for your babysitting coop, and more. You create a mix of trusted parents (or join an existing one) who are willing to trade babysitting hours with you, along with paid babysitters that you can find on their website. This way, you always have a sitter when you need one. And the babysitters all provide background checks through TalentShield.

Since there is little to no cost to use the site, you keep babysitting costs down. Although of course, if you interview and then hire a sitter through the site, you do have to pay them.

Smart touch: if you don’t have to have cash on hand at the end of date night, all their sitters are encouraged to accept a free Square dongle so that they can accept credit card payments on their smartphones. That’s a godsend for people who don’t carry cash — people like, um, me.  –Roxanna

Organize or find your babysitting coop coop online at SittingAround.