What we do?
Parents' Nook is an on-demand parent care solution. We cater to immediate needs of parents to socialize, rest, or work on site while providing a supervised open-ended natural materials playspace for the child in parallel. The paid supervisors are called "play facilitators", keeping the play safe and engaging without leading or micro-managing. We encourage parents to be play facilitators also, if their needs that day are more for group play and income. In this effort, we try to make already existing infrastructure of families in the community, play space, and casual work or socializing space more easy to use to meet parents’ needs for a little more time. Our mission “Giving parents some much needed ME time while the kids make play happen in every Nook”
How you can participate?
Parents can participate in Nooks in two basic ways:
- By requesting a Nook at a space of their choice. This means you are committing to attend if there are 3 or more kids in a Nook.
- However on recent parent demand we are introducing the sliding pay option for parents who want Nooks to happen regardless of whether there are more than 3 kids registered, and are willing to take the risk of paying the greater cost, they can select the "guaranteed nook" option. If they don't select that option, if its less than 3 kids Nooks get cancelled(Guarented Nook option will be added to our forms)
- By attending a Nook hosted by another parent.
Parents can get more deeply involved in Nooks various other ways :
- Being a play facilitator (your children can attend with you for free)
- Being the community Nook advisor to help potential hosts and arrange spaces.
- By sharing their spaces to host a Nook. It can be public or private property. We are offering 20-30 percent of our earnings to our geographical location partners at present..
What is a Nook?
Parents’ Nook is an ondemand parent care space. It is a small space designed on demand for parents and kids to give parents the much needed ME time. There is an area for parents conducive to nursing, watching kids play from afar, chatting, reading, or working on laptops. There is another area, in sight of or very nearby, set up with natural materials encouraging open-ended play and attended by the play facilitators. Kids are not separated from parents but are encouraged to engage in real play that will bring them into flow, so that parents can likewise get into their own flow.
Is it a drop off child care?
No we are not a drop off childcare. We are a parent care space. It’s designed in such a way (engaging to children) that even if though parents are in the same place as their kids, their desired task or activity gets accomplished. It is not guaranteed then that the parent will get their entire time at the Nook free from child interaction, but with experience and following some ideas below they can get a true break.
How can my child be comfortable in a new environment and play?
We believe in the philosophy that a parent’s presence is comforting enough for the child. If we give them enough time to warm up in a new environment where one parent’s loving presence is there, she will feel safe enough to explore all those open ended Play materials. We have done around 40 Nooks in Bay area so far and have seen this happen over and over, albeit at different rates for different personalities. Moreover, we have a few guidelines for parents written by our Play Director that we ask parents to go through. They can be found on our facebook group, along with other conversation and the hows, whens, and wheres of Parent Nooks. Here is a link to our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2062895613951302
Why it is a parentcarespace?
We believe in the philosophy “If you’re not doing well, your child isn’t doing well” So we want parents to have some ME time in a way they want, like drinking a cup of coffee in their home or coffeeshop, socializing with friends, reading a book, nursing a baby without trying to also help older children, or some time to think. The possibilities are endless. We are playing with accomodating a few needs now (e.g. having a comfortable armed chair, water, wireless internet, hosting in a coffeeshop) but we are happy to accommodate any request. The main focus is on meeting parents’ needs for a couple hours, and we do this secondarily by providing play space for kids that the parents can feel good about.
Do I need to pay?
Yes, we have our own operational cost .Thus we are a paid service. You can check more details by joining our group (which is pretty buzz free)
How it is better than other childcare options?
Oh yes, we are mamas too and we understand all the childcare. We are trying to fill a niche that we fall into, and we think more and more parents do too. We aren’t looking for full-time or even part-time daycare, but hiring a nanny for the times we need a break/to get things done is difficult due to the cost or lack of hours or variability of hours. And we might prefer a break in the company of other parents, or prefer our kids to be with other kids. Here are the ways we fill this childcare niche:
- The quality of Play --We want kids to be imaginative and creative and to understand how to take risks in Play. Our play materials are openended, and our play facilitators are well versed in keeping things safe while allowing scenerios of social, creative, and physical risk. Moreover we make sure kids enjoy their time at Nook by encouraging engagement through modeling play or storytelling, offering compassion and connection, and never making kids feel their parents are off-limits. After all, if you are comfortable in an environment, you are happy enough to follow your interests. Each kid should experience real openended Play regularly. It is so important for the wellness of our next generation.
Also, quality of food: we bring some real food snacks like apple and carrot sticks, hummus, minimally processed crackers with no added sugar, and no nuts.
- On-demand --There are options for less expensive care per hour, but maybe you don’t want or need your children to be in school/daycare every day or even 2 days/week, or can’t afford the monthly cost. But you still need a break for a couple hours sometimes, to finish something, to have adult interaction, to complete your thoughts! You can join a nook that is easy for your timing, or host your own for when you need it.
- Connection --Some of us parents would like to have our children near us even though we need breaks. We are not ready (or don’t want any more time) to be away from our child(ren) completely. We value some time that we aren’t “on” and having to actively take care of them, but also value them being able to come to us if they need to reconnect before exploring more.
Where can a Nook can happen?
Nook can take place in a coffee shop, in a coworking space, in an open space reserve, in a park, or in a backyard, in a library, in a museum,...anywhere there is space for a few parents and children, a few chairs and tables, and a view or space outside. We have done Nook in a very small space as well as a big space.
We believe that when we create a real community and address the grass root problems being faced, the community becomes enabled and happy which in turns makes a great neighborhood. And giving parents the much needed ME time is one such grassroot problem which we are trying to solve. A happy parent makes a happy baby. It’s also about creating your own tribe, which is so much needed in this toughest yet most beautiful phase of life.
How do I request a Nook?
Nook can be requested by filling out the Nook request form to propose a time and place. Everything else is taken care by us: hiring play facilitator(s), setting up and cleaning up with play materials, snacks, and tables/chairs/wifi if needed.
How do I attend as a paid Play Facilitator?
You will need to attend or watch a webinar from the Play Director. Then you join the Facebook Messenger group for Play Facilitators so that you can see requests for particular requested or regular Nooks once 3 families have registered. If you respond that you are available and Parent Nook agrees to hire you, your name will be added to that Event on Facebook. You can bring your children with you to play too.