The shared office space boom has offered many remote workers the option to work outside of their homes. Now, many parents are getting even more flexibility choices thanks to coworking spaces that offer on-site childcare services.
Elemeno, a D.C.-based coworking firm, provides just that. Cofounders Liza Fox and Michael Campbell said that their space is used by clients who typically have full-time care that has fallen through.
“One of our members makes children’s clothing and sells it on Etsy,” said Fox. “She doesn’t make her products here—she can do that at home—but she sometimes needs two uninterrupted hours to get her accounting in order. Our play buddies watch her 3-year-old while she works.”
Consulting firm Emergent Research estimates that out of the 4,000 coworking spaces across the U.S., only about 30 offer a form of child care services, but that is quickly changing.
Elemeno has five staff members who are background checked and CPR certified and can watch kids for up to three hours a day.
While spaces like Elemeno fulfill a demand for parents, some child care experts wonder how these offices may affect children. Katie Wells, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University, said that children need stability especially in terms of child care.
Fox said that Elemeno understands the importance of consistency for childhood development, so they do not accept drop-in child care, allowing kids to have a sense of routine when coming into the space.