PARK SLOPE — Parents seeking the ever-elusive goal of work-life balance will have a new option in Park Slope this summer.
A new company called CoHatchery will offer a combination co-working and child care program for eight weeks starting in July.
CoHatchery's mission is to "empower parents to pursue big careers without compromising parenthood," and co-founder Wendy Xiao says Park Slope is the ideal neighborhood to test its model.
"I just feel like this concept deserves so much attention," Xiao said. "For Park Slope parents, this is definitely something they need and want."
Clients will rent co-working desks at President Street and Seventh Avenue while their children do an afternoon of enrichment activities a block away on Union Street and Seventh Avenue. Parents will have the option of stopping by to visit their little ones at any time while they're working, and moms and dads can also join their kids for 30 minutes of parent-child "integration" activities.
The co-working space will be available from 12:30 to 6 p.m. and the child care lasts from 1 to 4 p.m. CoHatchery is subletting the Bee Tutored space at 823 President St. for the co-working space and it's partnering with Kidville for the child care component. CoHatchery staffers with early childhood education backgrounds created the child care curriculum, which will be geared toward kids ranging from 6 months to 4 years old.
The set-up will let parents stay close to their kids while they work undisturbed, but it will also give moms and dads who might otherwise be working at home the chance to get out and meet others in similar situations. CoHatchery also plans to host a series of events on both parenting and business-related topics to help parents network and learn.
Xiao and her business school classmate Susann Friedrich launched CoHatchery on the Upper West Side earlier this year. Xiao worked for five years in business consulting before starting business school just after the birth of her son, who's now just about to turn 2.
CoHatchery is looking for a permanent, year-round space where co-working and child care would be in the same space. In the meantime, the Park Slope summer program will serve as a "proof of concept" for the combination co-working and child care model, Xiao said.
Xiao received her MBA in May and recently moved to Park Slope. She'll soon start work at the venture capital fund NorthZone. She said she's talked to dozens of parents about how they struggle to bring their work and family life into harmony, often by launching freelance careers while patching together various forms of child care.
While some co-working businesses prefer workers from certain sectors, such as tech start-ups, CoHatchery is open to all, Xiao said.
“It’s literally for anyone who needs the space,” Xiao said. “We don’t have a preference on what industry they’re from. It just matters that they’re trying to achieve work-life integration.”