How Coworking Spaces Can Help With Your Childcare Issues

Father and daughter in kitchen
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Many parents agree that once you have a baby, the dedication and time you once put into your job changes and takes a back seat to your growing family. According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 89.3 percent of families with children had at least one employed parent and 60.6 percent of married-couples had two working parents, while 64.2 percent of mothers with children under 6 years old were in the workforce.

So, even though the work situation becomes complicated after having children, many parents still choose to work.

Traditional 9 am to 5 pm jobs are challenging for parents trying to raise kids, particularly young children. Corporate office environments are not kid-friendly and daycare and after-school options are often costly and may be far from your office or your home. The time you spend may not be the amount you actually want to spend with them, to bond with them and be more active with them as they're growing up.

If you are one of those parents who choose to change careers, take on fewer hours, or create a more flexible schedule while raising children, you have made a decision to change your work-life balance, but unfortunately, you are still left with some challenges. Is there a solution for parents to have it all?

What Are Co-working Spaces With Childcare?

Co-working spaces are popping up more frequently across the United States since the first one appeared in 2005.

They are defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting. Researchers who study how employees thrive found that people who belong to coworking spaces report higher levels of thriving than employees who do their jobs in traditional offices.

Some coworking spaces are taking this concept to the next level by providing co-working space with a childcare component. The childcare component can be a variety of situations, ranging from a more traditional daycare model or a babysitting co-op or share. Co-working spaces with childcare providers many freelances and independent workers the opportunity for a better work-life balance.

Benefits 

Co-working spaces with childcare offer the benefits of a community work environment, where parents can sit with like-minded adults engaging in work while offering high-quality childcare.

Co-working spaces also provide parents with shorter commutes without multiple stops and an environment to work productively while their kids can play and learn happily and safely, either under the same roof or close by.

Common Problems

Common problems include finding appropriate locations, rental prices, and childcare facility requirements. Opening a childcare facility comes with many requirements, including but not limited to space requirements (indoor and outdoor), licensing requirements for both employees and businesses, strict adult-to-child ratios, and that any parents working on-site with infants must have an approved license.

Successful Co-working Spaces

There are multiple successful co-working with childcare around the United States. One concept comes from the Brooklyn-based company, The Workaround. The concept behind The Workaround centers around "a community of freelancers, stay-at-home parents, artists, activists, dreamers, makers and everything in between with one thing in common: we are all parents and we all need a little time to get some work done."

This company rents four desks from a larger co-working space and rents to 12 members at a time at a monthly rate. The difference between this company and other co-working spaces is the addition of childcare services.

The Workaround offers a babysitting swap among its members. Unlike conventional daycares, the babysitting swap operates more like a co-op type play date where members "babysit" each other's children at parks, indoor play spaces, or their homes. There is no designated childcare space.

Many co-working spaces with the idea of offering childcare have failed due to strict restrictions on daycare spaces, such as ratios between caregivers and children, number of bathrooms, and exits as well as other rules and regulations that daycares must abide by to safely operate. The concept of a babysitting swap is much more relaxed and is not meant to be a family's main source of childcare.

Other successful co-working spaces with childcare include Cultivate and Nest in Hadley, Massachusetts. and Play, Work or Dash in Vienna, Virginia. Cultivate and Nest membership is $99/month for a basic membership (prices subject to change), which includes unlimited access to the co-working space for you and the option to add affordable childcare packages ranging from only $3/hour (prices subject to change).

Play, Work or Dash provides support for parents and quality childcare for children ages 9 months to 8 years old. Play, Work or Dash has a variety of membership options for different needs. For parents, it provides a flexible and professional environment where you can host meetings, work on proposals, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and get work done without interruption. For children, Play, Work or Dash offers individualized childcare up to three hours per day with age-appropriate toys and activities in a bright and engaging playroom.

Most parents appreciate the opportunity to have a flexible schedule and an open space to work that's also child-friendly, and that allows them to have their kids close by. If you're interested in a co-working space search for one in your area and get to work!

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