In New York, more and more people (read: freelancers, consultants, entrepreneurs) are making their money outside the traditional setup of a 9 to 5, office-based job. Our happening tech scene seems to produce a groovy new co-working space on the regular. You love the idea of co-working! But co-working spaces don’t love the idea of your kids (i.e.: you can’t bring them there.) Except for one: Read on to learn about the only co-working space in NYC with free on-site childcare. (We’ll wait ’til you get back up off the floor.)
It’s hard to believe, but there really is only one co-working space in New York City that provides free, on-site childcare: the Explorer’s Academy in downtown Brooklyn. (It’s down the street from the Transit Museum on Boerum Place and a short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge.) Co-working is not the Explorer’s Academy’s only bag; in fact, the co-working space is an organic off-shoot of what Explorer’s Academy really does: educating, entertaining and caring for kids.
Who’s Behind This?
Operating in the sizable Schermerhorn Street facility that formerly housed the Brooklyn Friends School, Explorer’s Academy runs its eponymous preschool and a Universal Pre-K program in the building. (The full portfolio of the New York Explorer’s Group also includes a summer and after school program, Backpacks and Binoculars and babysitting concierge service Bag of Tricks Babysitting.)
Located on the third floor of the building, the co-working space includes five work stations and provides free secure wifi, as well as use of a phone, printer, copy and fax machine. Also: office supplies, coffee and water! (Does your home office even have all of that?) They’ve even got some potted succulents and colorful decor to warm up the joint.
What’s it Cost and How Do I Sign Up?
A co-working spot can be booked at the rate of $12/hour for care for up to two children of any age. (You can bring more than two kids for an additional fee.) The space can also be booked in its entirety for group meetings. Signing up for a space is a two-step process. First, applicants must fill-out a Co-Working Family Profile form; after that is approved all bookings can be made and paid for online. (You can also pay with a credit card on site the day you work.)
Co-working spots are available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be booked far in advance (or even day-of, if space-permitting.) Have an FSA account? You can use it to pay for co-working here! For an additional fee, Explorer’s Academy will provide a snack or lunch prepared with local and organic ingredients by the school’s on site chef.
photo: Explorer’s Academy
Who’s watching my kid? And where are they while I’m working?
The co-working service at Explorer’s Academy utilizes the roster of CPR and first aid-trained childcare professionals from its sister pre-school, camp, and babysitting programs, and adjusts the staff according to the specific group of kids needing supervision. (i.e., an additional person could be called upon to care for an infant in a group that also includes five four year-olds.)
Kids of co-working parents play in one of two spaces: a room adjacent to the co-working space stocked with books and toys, or the Academy’s outdoor space, which is enclosed and outfitted with a play structure, slide, riding toys and more.
And yes, you can pop out of the office space and say “Hi” to your little munchkin at any time. (Now get to work!)
Know of a co-working space with childcare in NYC that we don’t? Tell us about it in the comments below!