Has working from home WFH and homeschooling left you yearning for a change of scenery? Or perhaps the office is beckoning you back but you haven’t yet got the childcare covered? Then it might be time to consider a co-working space with integrated childcare.
Zoey Goto rounds up London’s best work hubs for families, making the transition between parenting and working that little bit smoother.
EAST LONDON: Cuckooz Nest, Clerkenwell
Where: 24 Ray Street, London, EC1R 3DJ
If you’re looking for childcare that’s as flexible as your workload, then Cuckooz Nest might just offer the perfect solution. The beautifully designed co-working hub, which is handily just around the corner from foodie-haven Exmouth Market, has become a trailblazer for ultra-accommodating childcare. Their on demand package allows you to book childcare via an app for as little as four hours a week, or the flexible option allows you to scale up or down the hours, depending on the ebb and flow of your work commitments.
The Cuckooz Nest ethos fits in well with the current climate, as co-founder and parent Charlie Rosier explains. “Being able to offer a totally flexible nursery solution has really come into it’s own in recent weeks, as people are starting to be called back into the office at short notice, often finding themselves without childcare”. They’ve seen an increase in workspace enquiries with people looking for smaller premises, or seeking a more flexible balance between office and home days. “I’m excited to see a positive change in the way we are working, with a much greater focus on work/life balance” Charlie notes.
Onsite, the 2-floored co-working office is just next door to the crèche, making it easy to pop in and breastfeed if needed. There’s no outdoor space, but the lovely nursery staff take the children out for daily park visits. East London mum-of-two Leo Wood of Kinder Design has designed the beautiful crèche area, and in more sociable times, there are community-focussed evening events to support parents. As Charlie says, “we want to encourage parents to pursue big careers without compromising parenthood”.
What’s the deal?
- Combined childcare for children 0-3 years and office space for 4 hours per week from £48 per week.
- Snacks and nappies are included.
- Monday–Friday 8am–6pm
Visit: Cukooz Nest
WEST LONDON: Huckletree West, White City
Where: 191 Wood Lane, White City Place, MediaWorks, London W12 7FP
Situated in White City Place’s sparkly new campus, Huckletree West has become a hotspot for start-ups, particularly parent-tech companies. Current residents include the founders of Mush and Frolo apps.
For parentrepreneurs juggling work and childcare, there’s an onsite kids studio room with toys and books to keep little ones entertained. Note that kids are not supervised, so it’s best for short spells. Alternatively, took a child-minder through Bubble for a longer session of uninterrupted productivity. Members also get weekly yoga sessions (currently streamed) networking breakfasts, plus evening workshops and socials.
This super-hip workspace is an office that doesn’t feel like an office, with 40% of the space dedicated to chill-out zones. There’s a sunken seating area, urban garden, bike shed, podcasting booths, and a no-tech meditation yurt for zen top-ups. Free tea and filter coffee are now co-working standards, but Huckletree West upgrades this with a complimentary cappuccino machine. You can either grab a spare desk in the hotdesking zone or bring a team in and rent one of the private studios.
What’s the deal?
- Their light starting package offers 10 days of hotdesking per month on a flexi basis and starts from £175 +VAT per month.
- Bubble childcare costs are additional.
Visit: Huckletree West
NORTH LONDON: Playhood Montessori nursery and co-work space, Crouch End
Where: Cecile Park, Crouch End, London N8 9AU
The freshly opened Playhood hub combines a co-working space with an in-house micro Montessori nursery school. Children make full use of the studio garden setting for free flow indoor/outdoor play and numbers are capped at 6 to allow a high child to adult ratio. Note that as a minimum, children need to be confident walkers and the maximum age is 4 years old.
Playhood puts a big emphasis on community building, with collaboration and skill sharing actively encouraged. Parents can catch up with teachers over a daily coffee and participate in the nursery by leading a craft, cooking or language session. As there’s a high level of parental involvement, all parents need to undergo a parent volunteer DBS check.
Post-Covid, the intake has become much more diverse, as founder Karen Partridge explains. “With so many more people able to work from home, I’m seeing applications from a far broader set of parents rolling in. The Playhood community is now an exciting mix of freelancers, small business owners and traditional city workers who, for the first time, are able to get a little more work/ life balance and, in the process, stay more connected to their kids and caregivers during the week”.
Situated in a light and airy townhouse, Playhood’s workspace has a shared co-working bench, meeting room and onsite kitchen, surrounded by Scandi-chic furnishings. It’s out of sight and earshot of the nursery, giving parents the space to really focus, whilst the children are busy planting vegetables, making music or clay modelling in the nursery space.
What’s the deal?
- Combined hotdesk and childcare packages from a minimum of 2 days per week, start from £950 per month.
- A chef prepared seasonal lunch and snacks supplemented by home grown ingredients are included.
- Discounts may be available in return for supporting areas such as social media and design.
- 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday
EAST LONDON: Second Home, London Fields
Where: 125–127 Mare Street, London E8 3SJ
With hubs in LA, Lisbon and London, Second Home have built their brand on the foundation of well curated workspaces with plenty of membership benefits. Their London Fields space is the first to have a childcare option, collaborating with N Nursery & Family Club to offer an onsite crèche for members.
For children there’s a packed schedule of fun activities including yoga, Spanish, science and arts and crafts, whilst parents have a weekly rota of cultural and wellness events, including virtual Pilates and meditation and talks with leading thinkers and writers. There is never a dull moment at Second Home!
Alongside light filled hotdesk spaces that wouldn’t look out of place in a design magazine, there’s also an onsite café with an outdoor patio space for alfresco dining. A small forest of houseplants is dotted around the space for clean air, whilst the whole building runs on 100% green energy.
The nursery area has a huge rooftop garden with water features and a nautical themed playground. N Family Club taps into a variety of learning philosophies including Reggio Emilia, Bruner, Forest School and Montessori. Laura Matthews, former head of nutrition at Jamie Oliver, has been brought on-board to create a balanced menu for the children.
What’s the deal?
- The community hotdesk package at Second Home starts from £125 for 5 days of hotdesking per month.
- Members of Second Home get priority access to N Family Club Mare Street, where 3 days of childcare per week for under 3s is £1147.50 per month, over 3s £1020.
- Fees include all meals, snacks, formula for infants, nappies and trips.
- N Family Club Mare Street is open 51 weeks per year (excluding bank holidays & inset days) from 7am – 7pm, Mon – Fri (standard day: 8am – 6pm)