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Designing a Family-Friendly Coworking Space: Tips for Balancing Work and Childcare

Helga Moreno
Helga Moreno
Designing a Family-Friendly Coworking Space: Tips for Balancing Work and Childcare

As a working mother myself, I have faced the joys and challenges of building a career while raising a child. Many families prioritize family growth over professional ambitions, but not all mothers can afford or choose to leave their jobs.

Recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that in 2019, 69.1% of families with children under the age of 18 had a working mother, with 4.7% of those mothers serving as the breadwinner. By 2020, the percentage of working mothers dropped slightly to 65.9%, but 6.1% of mothers still held the role of breadwinner.

However, working in a traditional office with a rigid schedule can present challenges for parents who wish to be present for their children's growth. Taking children to the office is often not permitted, and daycare facilities can be costly. Additionally, some toddlers experience stress when separated from their mothers.

Family coworking spaces provide a solution that allows caring parents to balance work and life, maintain strong bonds with their children, and build their careers. If you are considering opening a child-friendly coworking location as the next milestone in your business's development, continue reading for guidance and inspiration.

Coworking Spaces with Childcare

Kid-friendly coworking spaces are taking flexible workspaces to the next level. They combine the best parts of a traditional coworking hub with a childcare component, offering various options for childcare services.

Child-friendly coworking spaces provide an excellent opportunity for freelancers and entrepreneurs to achieve a work-life balance, and the benefits are numerous.

  • Members can engage with like-minded individuals who share similar interests and concerns, while their children are cared for by professional babysitters and teachers.
  • These coworking spaces offer a safe environment for parents to work productively while their children are happy playing and learning nearby. 

The childcare services may vary, with some spaces offering traditional daycare models or babysitting services.

Special Amenities at Child-friendly Coworking Spaces

kids in superhero costumes at a child-friendly coworking space

A child-friendly coworking space should have some distinct facilities that set it apart from a traditional coworking space. Here's a quick summary of what they might include:

  • Delicious and nutritious meals that are always fresh
  • A variety of healthy beverages to choose from
  • A unique design that appeals to both kids and parents
  • Skilled and experienced nannies to care for the children
  • Well-equipped playgrounds for the kids to play in
  • Special software to keep an eye on the children
  • Access control systems to ensure safety and security
  • Professional business development courses to help members grow their businesses
  • Fitness and yoga classes to promote health and wellness
  • Treadmill desks for those who want to stay active while they work
  • Ping-pong tables and climbing walls for some fun and exercise
  • Dog parks for furry friends to play and socialize
  • Wellness rooms where members can relax and take a nap during the day
  • Lactation rooms for nursing mothers

In summary, a child-friendly coworking space should provide a variety of facilities that cater to the needs of both parents and children. From healthy meals and beverages to skilled nannies and well-equipped playgrounds, these spaces should offer a unique and engaging environment for parent entrepreneurs who want to achieve a work-life balance.

Tips for Family-friendly Coworking Space Owners

If you're considering making your current coworking space family-friendly or starting a new location with childcare, here are some key factors to keep in mind.

  • Develop a comprehensive business plan that includes researching competitors, local pricing policies, and demand. Having a solid plan, specifications, and marketing strategy will be essential for securing financial support from banks and investors.
  • There are various ways to integrate childcare into a coworking space. Will children be allowed in the workroom, or is it better to have a separate play area with babysitters? Some successful family coworking spaces offer areas where parents and children can spend time together during the day. However, each room in a child-friendly coworking space should have its own rules.
  • Running a family-friendly coworking space comes with many legal and insurance liabilities. The requirements can vary depending on the age of the children, so hiring staff with different qualifications and designing rooms with specific features is necessary. Some locations may also require additional licenses. Maintaining the highest hygiene standards is essential for all coworking spaces with childcare.
  • Safety is a top priority for operators of family coworking spaces. Restricted access, code-secured doors, safeguards, and cameras are essential for spotting unauthorized individuals. Enabling parents to watch their children from their smartphones or computer monitors is also important.

In app door unlock on andcards coworking space software

In-app door unlock on andcards coworking space software

  • Parents must have confidence in the safety and happiness of their children in order to focus on work and be productive. Meeting parents' needs is crucial for generating revenue. Adaptation may take some time, but having parents under the same roof is beneficial, especially when they trust caregivers.
  • Maintaining a routine is crucial for children, so fixed hours for meals, gaming, and educational activities should be established. Children may need time to adjust to the coworking space, but having parents close by can help ease the transition.
  • Well-trained and reliable staff are essential for a successful family-friendly coworking space.
  • Setting the proper pricing is crucial, including pay-as-you-go pricing, monthly rates, and discounts for regular users.
  • Studying the needs of mompreneurs can be beneficial, as this demographic is growing in numbers.
  • Maintaining a balance between coworking and childcare is essential for success. Encouraging parents to participate in children's events and workshops can help create an active exchange between coworking and daycare. Celebrating children's birthdays and holidays together can also help maintain a balance.

Enjoy the ease of use and management of your coworking or flex space with the andcards app.

The Best Coworking Spaces with Childcare from All Over the Globe

You already have a great deal of knowledge on how to run a family coworking business. Now, it's time to seek inspiration from the successes of others. In this section, I will showcase some coworking spaces with daycare facilities located throughout the world.

1. Big and Tiny

This family-oriented coworking space has two locations - Santa Monica and Silver Lake in Los Angeles.

Big and Tiny is a one-of-a-kind space that meets the needs of families by offering a comprehensive approach to community living that encompasses social, educational, professional, and wellness elements. It's a place where you can engage in creating, learning, meeting, playing, working, relaxing, and socializing. The spaces are thoughtfully designed, allowing you to work in the front while having convenient access to the play area, or retreat to the quieter area at the back when you require more concentration.

Big and Tiny child-friendly coworking space

2. Fandory Factory

Fandory Factory is a family-friendly workspace with comprehensive business services, located in San Diego. It provides an ideal workspace for working parents, as well as a play area for their children.

Whether you require office space for a few hours or several months, Fandory Factory offers various packages that cater to different business needs, both for those with and without kids. From desk spaces and mailing addresses for businesses to fully-equipped offices, there is something for everyone.

The workspace's kid-sized town provides visitors of all ages with the opportunity to play and use their imaginations. Parents can sit back and relax with a cup of coffee while watching their children enjoy a shopping trip at the market house, cook a meal in the kitchen, or play on the slides of the treehouse.

Fandory Factory is a women-owned business that understands the challenges of balancing work and home life. They strive to find the perfect balance by creating a networking community for freelancers, part-timers, work-from-homers, moms, dads, and their kids.

Fandory Factory child-friendly coworking space

3. The Workaround

This parent-friendly workspace is based in Toronto, Canada. Workaround strives to offer a hassle-free experience that removes the challenges faced by parents during their workdays. They offer high-quality childcare services on the same day, on an hourly basis, and provide part-time and full-day options while parents work on-site.

Their early education program is supervised and operated by Registered Early Childhood Educators, who aim to extend early childhood education to more families without the burden of high costs.

The Workaround child-friendly coworking space

4. Third Door Coworking & Nursery

This coworking space with daycare facilities is situated in London, UK. The Third Door coworking space offers a modern, fully equipped, and brightly-lit workspace for both parents and non-parents.

They foster a collaborative community of working parents and dedicated childcare professionals who strongly believe in the idea that work and family can flourish together.

Third Door Coworking & Nursery child-friendly coworking space

5. Two Birds

Two Birds is a coworking space located in Washington, DC, founded by two working parents. Their primary goal is to cater to a community of parents who require high-quality childcare that aligns with their professional schedules.

In addition to the standard amenities found in coworking spaces, Two Birds provides a nursing lounge that facilitates bonding time with your baby while engaging with other moms. They also offer a private pump room, childcare services for infants, toddlers, and pre-K children, as well as various parent workshops and baby enrichment classes.

Two Birds child-friendly coworking space

6. Second Home

Second Home is a coworking network with six locations (Lisbon, London, and Los Angeles). The Lisbon and London Fields branches are family-friendly and include an onsite nursery for members with children.

The workspaces are abundant in plants and natural light, which creates a unique coworking atmosphere that is imbued with character and charm.

Second Home child-friendly coworking space

7. Brella

Brella daycare and coworking center can be found in Los Angeles, California. While parents are not required to stay on premises, those who choose to do so can take advantage of their inclusive amenities and offerings, which include workspace access and a selection of wellness, education, and family classes.

Whether you're seeking some respite, wish to socialize with friends, or aspire to make a positive difference in the world, simply use the Brella app to make a booking, drop off your child (between 3 months to 6 years of age), and proceed with your plans worry-free.

Brella child-friendly coworking space

8. HackerMoms

HackerMoms is the pioneering women's creative life lab for mothers located in Northern California's San Francisco Bay Area. The concept behind HackerMoms is that mothers require a secure and supportive setting that nurtures, inspires, and empowers them to explore new ideas and cultivate their creativity.

With the mission to create a mythical village where both the mother and child can thrive, HackerMoms provides a safe haven of encouragement, stimulation, and support. It's a mom's refuge for creative endeavors and personal growth, and a place where moms can come together to enjoy themselves.

HackerMoms child-friendly coworking space

9. Nido

Nido is a coworking center with childcare located in Durham, NC, in the United States. This is a workspace that celebrates parents for who they are while providing their children with high-quality care. Their preschool program is intentionally kept small, catering to children from 6 months to 6 years old. Nido is dedicated to maintaining optimal teacher-to-child ratios, ensuring that each child receives an individualized program that is tailored to their needs.

Nido child-friendly coworking space

10. The Inc.

The Inc. is a coworking space and play school located in Seattle, Washington, with a mission to promote gender equity in entrepreneurship and at home. Their community-driven workspaces offer affordable and flexible childcare options, alongside welcoming and child-friendly environments for parents to work and children to play. The Inc. is dedicated to meeting the needs of working parents and supporting their entrepreneurial aspirations, while creating a nurturing and safe space for children to learn and grow.

The Inc. child-friendly coworking space

11. Coggeshall Club

The Coggeshall Club is a unique coworking space in Middletown, Connecticut that offers the perfect combination of workspace, childcare, and fitness. Unlike traditional memberships that require separate fees for each service, the Coggeshall Club provides a cost-effective solution by bundling them all under one roof. The beautiful location offers a collaborative work environment for individuals and families alike, where they can work, exercise, and take care of their children without sacrificing their goals or ambitions.

Coggeshall Club child-friendly coworking space

12. Cowo & Crèche    

Cowo & Crèche is a boutique co-working space that caters to the needs of working professionals and career parents by offering an on-site nursery/preschool. Located in the heart of Alexandria, VA, this innovative concept was created by Shamena Nurse-Kingsley, a parent who struggled to balance her personal and professional life during the pandemic.

With two toddlers and no suitable childcare facility, Shamena experienced several work-from-home office iterations and countless video call interruptions that were either embarrassing or HR complaint-worthy. Her daily struggles inspired her to create Cowo & Crèche, her fourth "baby" that would cater to the needs of working parents like herself.

At Cowo & Crèche, parents can enjoy uninterrupted work time while professional staff members care for their little ones. The space is modern and technology-driven, making it easy for customers to enjoy membership perks. To book a work spot, customers simply need to click the "Book a space" button in the screen's top right corner. The Cowo & Crèche app, developed by andcards makes it really easy to join the community. Parents also receive real-time updates about their child's experience in the space through the brightwheel app, which helps them preserve peace of mind during working hours.

Cowo & Crèche coworking space with childcare

Your Turn

In conclusion, designing a family-friendly coworking space requires careful planning and attention to the needs of both parents and children. By providing high-quality childcare, flexible workspaces, and a supportive community, you can create an environment that supports working parents in their pursuit of a fulfilling career while also nurturing their family life.

With the growing trend of remote work and the increasing demand for family-friendly workspaces, coworking spaces that prioritize family-friendly features are sure to be in high demand.

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