Juggling day care for your darling ankle bitters can add to the stress of general life. Although still in a minority there are some coworking spaces that have embraced the need for childcare. It is a concept still in its infancy but for freelancers, part-timers and workers from home this could throw a life-line, both practically and financially. Although the thought of a take-your-kid-to-work day might fill some with dread the practicality of having your child on-site, or indeed providing a few hours cover during school holidays so that you can catch up on work, might actually seem quite appealing.
Traditional Nursery Costs
The traditional nursery set up works well if you need it on a regular basis and can make that long-term commitment. This can prove costly and does not present flexibility offering a simple full or part-time place.
Figures from The Money Advisory Service
Coworking Space With Childcare
For those without regular work and a regular childcare set up it could be a complete game changer when trying to fathom childcare logistics. With a rise in self-employed parents there is a growing demand for flexible childcare where you only pay for it, as and when you need it. They are still not that easy to come by and we hope in the future that more options will come available. Let’s throw our toys at those shared office spaces that are working to provide vital day care solutions for those with children to organise.
Best For Flexibility: Third Door
The brainchild of, not surprisingly, a mum who back in 2008 was struggling to juggle work around looking after her five-month-old daughter and finding it extremely difficult. This coworking space is all about enabling parents to be able to both work and have a family.
Located over in SW18 the light airy communal space, with a bookable meeting room is not exclusive to parents but the family-friendly atmosphere does create an environment that appeals to those with children. Monthly packages can be customised to allow for as much, or as little time, as you would like in the Ofsted regulated nursery. Choose from fixed childcare to fit around regular work (from £399 a month for one day a week) or a flexible option for more unpredictable work patterns. The latter offers the choice of different days and hours each week (just book 48 hours in advance), from £390 for 30 hours a month. The benefit being that you only pay for the hours you have used.
The nursery provides meals (breakfast, lunch and tea) and they accept childcare vouchers also. You can work off-site if you need to attend a meeting and there are two ‘ad-hoc’ allocated places a day for those that need last minute cover. There are no showers for those hoping to come in and change and also no allocated parking. There is street parking available outside which is payable by the hour.
Third Door, 16 Point Pleasant, Putney, London SW18 1GG, www.third-door.com/nursery
Best For The Younger Ages: Cuckooz Nest
Another hybrid co-working and childcare destination that offers a cool and minimalist vibe with all the productivity creature comforts that you would expect (coffee, phone rooms etc.). The Cuckooz Next is found nestled in buzzing Clerkenwell and is the brainchild of an entrepreneur mum and her best friend – there seems to bea common theme of working mothers struggling to find flexible and affordable childcare so they create their own. The nursery takes children up to the age of three and has a low ratio of staff to children. This provides an ideal work space for those parents that want to be close enough to breastfeed or pop in and read a story.
If you work regular hours then the fixed membership starts at £48 for a half-day session and £88 for the full eight hours, with a minimum commitment of one session a week. The flexible option allows you to change your day or session and requires a minimum usage of 4 hours a week in one session. Additional hours are possible subject to availability.
There are showers; bike storage and members can get 24-hour access. The nursery provides breakfast and snacks parents will need to bring lunch and tea. There is no on-site parking but there is an NCP car park nearby.
Cuckooz Nest, 24 Ray St, Farringdon, London EC1R 3DJ, www.cuckooznest.co.uk
Best for outdoor activities: Second Home
Step into London Fields, one of four Second Home outposts in London, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were at the London Design Museum. Innovative and sustainable design is at the forefront of all the locations: greenery is everywhere, there are outdoor spaces galore and break out areas and meeting rooms. If you are planning on hosting a party there is an event area spacious enough for 500. There is an all day café with outdoor eating spaces and priority access to on-site nursery – run by N Nursery & Family Club.
London Fields is the only one (out of the Second Home coworking spaces) with a nursery membership option. The design element has not stopped at the nursery door. There are indoor slides, a rooftop playground with water features and dedicated arts and crafts areas. The nursery is open from 8am – 6pm and they offer pay-as-you-go early drop off and late pick up from 7am – 7pm. Fees start at £80 per standard day for children age 3 years and upwards and £90 for those under 3 years. Fees include all meals, snacks, formula for infants, nappies and trips. This preschool suits those whose hours are more regular but who want the convenience of having their little one close by as there is a minimum requirement of 3 full days, to include a Monday or Friday. Facilities
London Fields is open 24 hours a day with security at all times. Additional perks include movie screenings, musicians and performers, industry speakers and a sit-down restaurant.
125-127 Mare St, Hackney, London E8 3SJ, United Kingdom, www.secondhome.io
Best for community feel and networking: Huckletree West
This child-friendly workspace in the heart of White City’s campus has a buzzy and real community feel. Huckletree West’s Power Parents membership allows parents access to thee Kids Studio – a workspace with includes a play and private nursing area with separate baby changing facilities. It is a perfect room for parents that choose not to be parted from their little ones or for those juggling holiday cover with work, where kids can while away a few hours playing. This membership costs £175 per month and parents have the choice of 4 ½ hour morning or afternoon sessions so it suits part-time workers rather than those that need the full day covering.
There’s a soft play area for the kids to mess in, children under 8 will need to be supervised by an adult. Huckletree West doesn’t yet have dedicated nursery staff to look after your child. If you need an on-site babysitter, they will assist in booking a babysitter with the bubble app but this will be at your own cost.
If you thirsting after engaging conversation and networking opportunities then this vibrant community steps up to the plate. There’s an extensive programme offering regular events, both social and cultural, workshops, members drinks and panel discussion with entrepreneurs and founders of leading brands.
The vibe here is creating a space to maximise productivity and inspire innovation. With a brave interior 40% of Huckletree West is dedicated to breakout spaces for collaboration and chilling out. You won’t find showers and bike storage at this office, they do offer them at other lcoations. In its place you will find a wellness programme, a meditation yurt, urban gardens and a podcasting booth for content creators.
Huckletree West, 191 Wood Lane, London, W12 7FP, www.huckletree.com
Best family members’ club: Maggie & Rose Islington
The third addition to the Maggie & Rose empire the new Islington outpost provides a haven for working parents for both members and non. Non-Members can use the ground floor café and sign up for the nursery. Members have access to the co-working space on the members’ floor. This is a haven that parents will want to move into. With a cool urban chic vibe allowing parents to chill with a coffee, catch up on work or get involved in arts and crafts with the kids. There’s a soft play zone, nothing like the ones that you swear you will never set foot in again at the local leisure centre. It comes with a two-way mirror so parents can type or talk in a soundproof workspace whilst keeping an eye on their little one. The nursery caters for children from 9 months to 5 years old and is open 8am – 6pm., with an early drop off and late pick up option also.
Maggie and Rose club membership starts from £180 per month or £1980 per annum (including a joining fee and deposit). Fee guidelines for the nursery range from £51 – £98 depending on session options.
Little ones and adults can enjoy the members’ lounge, play areas, an all day family dining Brasserie, snug, library corner and three bespoke studios hosting a timetable packed with creative classes and holiday camps.
Best for parents who need a free morning: PlayPen
Finding time to escape with your lap top and a caffine fix isn’t always easy when you have a child. PlayPen Cowork, located at located at St. Pauls Way Community Centre in Mile End, provides the perfect escape avenue. A crèche for babies and toddlers (up to age five) gives working parents the opportunity for a few uninterrupted hours working in the Bow Brew Café with it’s free wifi and meeting area.
PlayPen is only open on Thursday mornings during term times (9.30am – 12 noon) so best suits those looking to snatch some uninterrupted catch up time. It costs £15 for one child and £20 for two.
PlayPen, St Pauls Way Centre, 83 St Pauls Way, London, E3 4AH, www.playpencowork.com
There does seem to be growing focus on children for the younger years, up to the age of 3, but coworking facilities will need to plan beyond those early years to allow families to grow with the space. The childcare issues for parents with school age children can become complex and this is an area that requires further attention. What is evident is that parents are seeking flexible lifestyles with work opportunities that allow them to pursue careers whilst spending quality time with their children. Remote or agile working and part-time and self-employed working will continue to rise
We will be updating this list as more options for co-working spaces with childcare become available. If you know of one that we have missed off the list please let us know so that we can share – knowledge is power!