By TATEVIK APRIKYAN
SEATTLE — The Women’s Business Incubator recently launched a co-working, co-play space in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood. The innovative idea gives parents the chance to ease back into the workforce while having their kids by their side.
Seattle mother Sarah Hines cherishes the simple moments of motherhood with her son, like singing songs to him in the middle of the day. Now, she gets to have those moments not only at home but at the office too.
“There’s this light bulb moment of ‘Oh my gosh, wow,’ this is exactly what I need,” said Hines.
She is one of the parents taking advantage of a new, flexible model for parents to work while childcare is provided on-site, all under one roof.
“The kids are playing and the moms are working and we’re working together and building a community of like-minded parents,” said Hines.
This community is the brainchild of the Women’s Business Incubator, a Seattle based nonprofit that created this co-work, co-play space.
Marlene Mejia Weiss is one of the board members at Women’s Business Incubator. She took time away from work after having kids and said the transition back into the workforce wasn’t easy.
“It’s tough because you always just feel torn. I think we all feel this way as mothers, that you kind of want to still have both and there’s just not a lot of resources out there,” said Mejia Weiss.
So, the Women’s Business Incubator came up with this model to off an alternative option for parents like Weiss and Hines. It’s a space where parents can bring their kids to an office-like setting. Currently, they’re operating out of rented space at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Green Lake.
The program offers flexible and affordable options for parents with different needs. Parents of preschool-age children can drop them off at half-day preschool on-site, and work in a quiet room just down the hall from their child. Weiss says this co-working option provides parents with access to an office space with shared desks, free Wi-Fi, printer access and coffee.
Parents who have infants up to toddler age can choose a co-working, co-play option where children are in the same room as their parent. Parents are able to keep an eye on their child while getting work done and networking with other parents.
The Women’s Business Incubator is for all parents, not just moms. It is aimed at parents who are entrepreneurs, freelancers or those who have flexible work schedules and need a space to work remotely.
The facility currently has available space for about 15 children per day. The drop-in rate is $12 per hour. Monthly packages are also available ranging from $59 per month to $850 per month.
The Women’s Business Incubator recommends booking spaces in advance by calling (206) 659-5978 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Women’s Business Incubator visit womenbusinessincubator.org.