Work'n'Kid: Co-Working with Childcare13 July 2020 | By Lisa H
Anne Rübsam-Rivierre is the founder of Work'n'Kid, a co-working space in Berlin Friedrichshain that also offers flexible childcare. We asked her about her concept and how she can help working parents in need of childcare.
(We used Work'n'Kid with our son before he started Kita and can highly recommend it.)
Tell us more about Work’n’Kid. What was your motivation for creating the space?
Work’n’Kid is a coworking space with optional and flexible childcare. We have created a small, relaxed and family-friendly space, which allows parents to work in a professional environment and to have their kids close by next door.
I previously worked as a project manager and struggled a lot with missing structures and mindset regarding new work and flexibility. It only got worse when I had my kids, two sons who are now 4 and 8 years old. At the same time it is very hard for parents to find a kita spot in Berlin and so all of a sudden, the decision to come up with my own solution was crystal clear - to combine family life and business matters into a smooth project that I decided to call Work’n’Kid.
How does the childcare option work at Work’n’Kid?
We offer reliable and flexible childcare on-site – while experienced childminders take care of the kids, parents have the chance to work next door.
Our caretakers speak English and German and we offer our service for children between the age of 4 months and 3 years. At any given time, our caretakers watch no more than three kids each in two separate rooms – one for playing and one for sleeping.
Parents can choose between more flexible bookings starting from one hour or more fixed booking packages up to full-time. Plus, they can see their child at any time, as needed.
You can book a free trial session to get to know our rooms, caretakers and facilities.
How are you able to help parents that have not been able to find a Kita spot?
We can host kids full-time if needed, but recommend around 3-5 hours a day, 3-5 days a week as an optimum. We always have a spare spot for urgent cases.
Childcare costs may be reimbursed by Jugendamt (the keyword is “selbstbeschaffte Kinderbetreuung”) under certain conditions. We help you with according invoices and provide you with more info on how it works.
Find out more about this option in our blog post "Get money back for your private childcare"
(Update: Unfortunately, this program was recently canceled but there's hopes that it may be re-instated.)
Who is the Work'n'Kid concept best suited for? What kind of success stories have you seen so far?
We have a lot of success stories to tell. For example, there is a father with a sensible child that sometimes needs a hug. Now dad can focus on his projects and have video-calls in the meeting room but also go into the child area from time to time for some cuddling with his boy. There is also a single mom, who can now take some time focusing on a concept for setting up her own business. Or, we had a couple living next door who lost their promised kita spot last-minute and just needed some time to settle some urgent matters.
How has the Corona pandemic changed your model?
Like many people, we got even more flexible and creative. For example, we had a blogger and journalist who needed to finish some urgent projects and brought her older children so they could work on their remote school work in the meeting room. Or we installed a flexible play-work area. We also had new parents who came without their kid in order to just get some work done.
In May, we reopened the childcare with fixed groups for members, and parents were more than happy to take such a safe opportunity. I guess, in general, Corona showed everybody that flexible work models are more needed than ever.
Thanks Anne! Learn more about Work'n'Kid on their website.
Find the right Kita in your neighborhood:
Hear from Katja, one of the founders of juggleHUB, a co-working space in Prenzlauer Berg that also offers childcare.
What is the Kita Eingewöhnung and how can you prepare for it?