Chicago Tribune

COWORKING SPACES HIT A WALL WHEN IT COMES TO OFFERING CHILDCARE

by Meg Graham / April 1, 2015

For all the little problems entrepreneurs have solved in their community, they have yet to crack one of the biggest — providing affordable, accessible child-care to young workers who desperately need it. It’s a notable omission as new work models promise more flexibility but also demand constant engagement, and entrepreneurs are seen as key to job creation but must sacrifice financially while they build their businesses.

Kate Marie Grinold Sigfusson, founder of Chicago e-commerce startup Babies4Babies and mother of an infant son, said an affordable coworking and childcare option with flexible hours could be hugely significant for parent entrepreneurs juggling children and fledgling businesses.

“We’re leaning in,” she said. “We’re leaning so far in we’re going to face plant. And what we need is something to lean on.”

Nor has on-site childcare flourished in corporate America. The percentage of companies with childcare at or near the worksite was 7 percent in 2014, down from 9 percent in 2008, according to the Families and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers.

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