In my group of friends, I am the Queen of setting up groups. I think Mom's Morning Out may have been the first one I set up, and it's my all-time favorite.
There are currently five of us in our group. Each Friday morning, one of us takes our turn hosting everybody's kids at our house from 9:30 to noon. Then, we get the next four Friday mornings FREE! Free to run errands, do homework, do Christmas shopping, clean the house, or, as I'm far more likely to do, waste time on the internet or take a nap.
One important aspect to making the group successful is to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as expectations and rules. Here's how we do it in our group:
*To attend, the kid has to be over 1 year old and no longer taking a morning nap. No crabby crying babies.
*It doesn't matter if you have 1 or 2 kids in the group, you just host once. More than two kids, you host twice. I made up that rule and may end up regretting it, since I'll be the first and only so far to have three not in school yet!
*You also have to agree as a group upon standards of sickness. We're all pretty lax, so a clear runny nose, and minor coughs and colds are okay. Vomiting or green snot means you keep your kid home.
*In our group our kids also all watch TV and movies, so we're all cool with cartoons being shown, or a movie, but that's something you may want to go over if you choose to set up a group yourself.
This group has worked out really, really well for us over the years. I love having a morning free every single week, and my kids love getting together to play with their friends. I love having the time to myself and not paying for it, and my kids get a chance to be independent and learn to be away from me, while being watched by people that I trust. Everybody wins!