How to Start Your Own Co-Working With Kids Session
- Find a Space
This might be your own home, the home of a friend, or a kid-friendly public space. Wherever you choose to host your session, make sure it is kid-safe and stocked with age-appropriate toys or activities to keep the kids occupied. Wifi and adequate seating/workspace for parents are also essential.
- Pick a Date and Time
We recommend scheduling recurring meetups so parents can make Co-Working With Kids a part of their regular routine. If you’re hosting, pick a day and time that works best for you. In our experience, kids get along well for about three to four hours before starting to melt down. Consider keeping sessions to 3-4 hours or scheduling a 1-2 hour break between morning and afternoon sessions. This will make time for snacks, naps, and down-time (all things that little kids can benefit from).
- Determine Your Target Age and Ideal Group Size
How many parents can your space accommodate? How many kids? Think about which ages will work well with your own kids. Generally, kids get along best with children within 1-2 years of their own age. For example, the target age for our group is 2-4 (but we allow a lot of wiggle room – especially for parents with multiple kids). Are you OK with parents bringing infants or older kids? Give these questions some thought.
- Pick a Childcare Plan
So far, we’ve taken a sort of free-range approach to childcare at our work sessions. The kids play nearby and we all keep half an eye on them while we’re working. We’re interrupted every now and then, but for the most part it works! Another option is hiring a nanny or babysitter to hang out with the kids while parents are working. If you go this route, make sure to hammer out the details of cost-sharing with your fellow parents before getting started.
- Set Up a Facebook Group
Set your group up to help find and organize local members. Be sure to set the group to “closed” so that you can moderate new members before they are added. We recommend asking a couple of screening questions before letting members join. For example, we ask Austin members to tell us a little about their work and family, then we ask them to list their favorite local spots in Austin. This helps keep out spammers, scammers, and creeps.
- Add Your Facebook Group to Our Group Index
Make it easy for local co-working parents to find your group. Email Mary Helen Leonard with your group’s url and invite her to join. We’ll add your link here.
- Create Facebook Event
When you are ready to get started, create your first Facebook event! Be sure to create the event from your group page and invite all the members in your group every time. It can also be helpful to post a reminder about the event on your group page a few days before the event. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while before your group starts getting regular attendance. Keep reaching out to friends and colleagues and before you know it, you’ll find your co-working tribe. Create Facebook events for each scheduled session, and you’re good to go.