In life of every newly-minted parent, there comes the moment when maternity or paternity leave ends, and they have to go back to their working schedule. In most cases, psychological or logistical dilemmas arise. Therefore, parents who have a nursery or kindergarten in… their workplace, face a great convenience.
Going to work with a child
Placing nurseries or kindergartens (or both of them as one entity) is a practice used on a high scale in corporate office buildings which bring together a large group of employees; or are located in close proximity to other office buildings. It can be definitely considered as a tribute to employees. Nurseries or kindergartens are usually run as part of networks specializing in opening such places, e.g. the Fair Play network or Kids & Co.
Many parents, especially those who cannot be supported by grandparents or a babysitter, while choosing a nursery or kindergarten, believe that it should be as close to the workplace as possible – especially those parents who work in big cities, who count the distance travelled from home to work in hours, not minutes. Parents do not want their child to spend all days in the facility, since the moment of opening, until closing in the afternoon. They also want to avoid afternoons’ rush hour and being delayed by getting stuck in a traffic jam, while worrying about whether they will be able to pick up the child from the facility before closing it. Parents whose children stay in a facility which is close to their workplace, do not have to deal with such problems. This is also particularly important if a child has a fever or other symptoms that require parent to picked them up immediately from a nursery or kindergarten. The short distance is also a great psychological support for young parents who know that they can show up at their child’s place at any time.
Children in the office
A nursery or kindergarten in an office building is not only a convenience for parents. It is also an image asset for the company in which the building is located. Increasingly, employers also support their employees by subsidizing tuition fees in such an institution. And in the case of private points it is a considerable expense. Thanks to such benefits, the company is perceived as caring about their employees, meeting their needs, being family-oriented, and these are very important features today. The times when employees put work above family life are over, today they focus on slowing down the pace, achieve work-life balance more easily, and value the opportunity to devote time to family and private passions. In addition, surveys conducted among employees clearly indicate that when making a decision about taking up a job, facilities related to the place itself also count for them. Working parents pointed out the importance of childcare facilities. Many of those run in office buildings are at the same time foreign-language nurseries and kindergartens (most often it is English, as in the KIDS & Co network, but there are also Italian- or Spanish-language nurseries). In corporate office buildings, where some of the employees are foreigners, this is an additional undeniably positive aspect.
Dolls, cars and swings
An office building is usually associated with rows of desks. The kindergarten – with spacious rooms and a compulsory playground. Indeed, there may be a problem with the last one placed in the office building, although many of them can boast a separate part of the courtyard, recreation area in the green surroundings of the complex or even a terrace that allows children to have fun outdoors. The interiors, in turn, enjoy a large space that allows arrangements to meet the needs of small children, in accordance with the requirements of regulations. Places adapted for nurseries and kindergartens are subject to very strict sanitary and fire code regulations, and these relate not only to the issue of safety and food, but also to the adaptation of sanitary facilities or air conditioning maintenance, without which we cannot imagine modern buildings. A nursery or kindergarten in an office building are often much larger than community kindergartens, not to mention children’s equipment and facilities.
Nurseries and kindergartens at the workplace are not new phenomenon in Poland. A few decades ago, it was normal to create such facilities at larger workplaces. Return to this solution turns out to be a very good idea, giving many benefits to all parties – from children and parents, through employers, companies running institutions or building managers, to nearby residents, whose children or grandchildren usually can also use corporate nurseries and kindergartens.