A new pop-up that combines co-working and childminding in Vancouver is promising to provide a space for parents to have flexibility and peace of mind by integrating family and career needs in one place.
The space is operated by Nestworks, which has partnered with This World’s Ours (TWO), a center that provides support to families with neurodiverse children.
This way, parents can focus on their work while knowing highly trained caregivers are supervising their children — “Not the local teenager,” Nestworks founder Madeleine Shaw said.
She admits the pop-up does not solve the ongoing childcare shortage, but she says the space offers flexibility and choice.
“It’s no secret that we are experiencing a childcare crisis in general. And that needs to be remedied with a whole bunch of different types of childcare. Not every family needs full-time, Monday to Friday, nine-to-five daycare,” she explains. “That certainly not consistent with the way a lot of us work these days where you’ve got people who are working independently, members of the gig economy, and creatives.”
The space is for children aged 16 months to five years, and parents must remain in the building since this model is not licensed childcare.
However, it’s hard to imagine anyone not wanting to spend time in the light-filled restored heritage space in Mount Pleasant.
Children are able to enjoy the mini gym, a sensory playhouse, reading area and be entertained by programs which include movement, arts and crafts and storytelling.
Meanwhile, co-working adults will have access to “an open office hot-desk environment,” a press release reads.
While parents would typically need to drop off their kids at one location and then find another place to work, Shaw says Nestworks’ co-working and childminding space provides a certain amount of efficiency.
“It saves time and kind of emotional energy where there isn’t that sense of separation where children aren’t feeling like their parent is leaving, going somewhere,” she explains.
Shaw goes on the say while it’s common to separate work and personal life, “practically speaking, it doesn’t… have to be that way, especially for parents with little kids.”
“We are so busy, have so many things to deal with,” she says. So being able to come to one place to further a career and be present for children, “it’s really a huge sigh of relief.”
The co-work and childminding alternative located at 191 E 10th Avenue opened Monday and will remain open for the month from 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays.
The space will only be open temporarily so Nestworks can test if the location is best suited for the long term.
“We just need to make sure that there are enough families who want to come and invest in themselves and their families,” Shaw adds. “It’s a working prototype… and if it works, and people come, we’ll keep going. It’s as simple as that.”
You can find drop-in rates here.