When I began Play, Work or Dash I understood without a doubt that I was solving a real problem for many parents. This is what I focused on — a viable answer to a problem I knew existed. I developed a practical model that gives parents of young children the flexibility and support they need to pursue their independent business or entrepreneurial ambitions. Somewhere along the way I realized that this little venture of mine was also introducing a NEW CATEGORY in child care, while simultaneously expanding the traditional definition of coworking.
My idea is untested and new, which for some people means scary and risky. But, for all those who have taken this leap with me — namely my amazing founding members — it is anything but scary because it makes sense. So much sense that I wonder why it hasn’t been done in this way before.
Traditional full-time child care is essential for families with dual full-time working parents, but, this model doesn’t fit everyone’s needs. There are many families where one or both parents work from home on a full-time or part-time basis. There are also many families that seek out or create their own work-from-home opportunities and businesses in order to be the main caregiver for their children. These families need a more flexible option in child care. A different option that doesn’t require committing to specific days, but allows you to dictate your own needs.
Play, Work or Dash is this different option. Our coworking model is the answer for parents of young children. We do not require a set schedule or even set hours per week. You simply use our online system to reserve space for your kids to play (ages 9 months to 8 years old) up to three hours per day. Then you use this same system to book time for you to utilize our coworking facilities – which include a lounge, conference room, open desks, high-speed WiFi, and free coffee/tea. You can reserve your space as far as two months in advance or as little as 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. When you arrive, you check your child in with the staff in the playroom and then you get to work.
And when I say get to work — I mean it.
The mothers and fathers who walk through my door are determined, focused, deliberate, and disciplined. Most of all they are PRODUCTIVE. It is awe-inspiring to witness.
In speaking about my idea with a non-parent friend, I was asked if I really thought offering three hours of supervised child care so parents could work would be enough for my members. Actually, the quote was, “What can you REALLY get done in three hours?”
The mother of four in me laughed hysterically (internally of course) at the lack of understanding from my non-parent friend. You see, three hours of child-free time to focus on work is not only “enough” it is a luxury — especially if you are the main caregiver for your child and are used to squeezing in work during naps and after the kids go to bed.
Now, I don’t say this in a judgmental way. It’s just what I know to be true. Having children changes the way you prioritize everything — including the way you focus on work.
So, yes, I do believe for these parents that three hours a day of uninterrupted time to work is enough… but this isn’t the only reason they are able to be so productive. You see, there is one universal truth for parents — when your kids are well-cared for and happy, you are better able to focus on your own needs. My members are productive because they are secure in the care being offered their children. My overall philosophy is about supporting the parents AND children who come through our doors. We don’t simply place toys in a room and hire a babysitter. We engage the children and focus on each of their individual needs. We read, we play, we laugh, we offer arts and crafts opportunities, we listen to music, and we strive for the kids to leave as happy and fulfilled as their parents.
A final reason my members are able be so productive is that they value being in close proximity to their littles. Being a room or floor away from their kids makes a difference. Their motivation for success is close enough to be monitored on a screen mounted in the kitchen, yet not so close as to physically pull on their legs or call to them during business calls. It’s a win-win.
Play, Work or Dash is their answer — their different option for finding balance.
If you would like to learn more, please book a tour. I will gift you with one free 90-minute visit for you and your child simply for visiting us.