Not too long ago, The Wing — a growing coworking space backed by WeWork — announced that it would be adding childcare to its workspace service amenities. For the Wing it seemed like an obvious pivot; they are female-focused,and a significant percentage of their members are mothers.
Yet, The Wing isn’t the first to try and figure out the coworking + childcare equation. In fact, there have been several others that have tried out this endeavor only to find out that it’s not as simple as having on-site daycare.
Nonetheless, the jury is still out on whether coworking and daycare can coexist. On the surface, it makes perfect sense. Parents cannot take their kids to traditional offices and they have a hard time catering to their children’s need when committed to a 9 to 5 job. Luckily, coworking spaces have already disrupted that area, giving parents options when it comes to when and where they work.
And even though offering childcare seems like a natural next step, there’s plenty to take into consideration before walking down that path. For starters, coworking operators need to be aware that offering childcare means that they will have to think about something other than their core business. But that’s the least of the challenges.
Third Door in the UK has successfully proven that coworking and childcare can definitely coexist, but it takes a lot of time to getting it right. In the US, coworking spaces need to think about licenses and regulations that apply to all daycare and childcare centers, this is a key step to offer childcare. Once that’s taken care of, it’s time to search and hire the right people and start thinking about childcare packages and prices.
Flexibility has a price; and so does convenience. Before you go an offer childcare in your space, it’s important that you make sure that your members are interested in and willing to pay for this service. As for the actual childcare packages, it will take some time to find what works for your space and your members.
You’ll have to carefully observe which days are the busiest, how many days a week parents are bringing in their children, how long they stay, and the like. These observations will help you create packages that are more attractive for parents and that work best according to their needs. Just as your coworking space is flexible with memberships, so will your childcare service need to be.
If you are interested in offering childcare and need help determining whether you need a license to operate a daycare in your area or how to bundle the service into your pricing, reach out to us.