Centre to pilot flexible childcare

November 24 2016

Freelance parents could have the solution to childcare issues thanks to a new initiative being trialled in Bishopston.

Freelance parents could have the solution to childcare issues thanks to a new initiative being trialled in Bishopston.

Parents would be able to drop off their young children downstairs with trained playworkers at KudaCan play cafe in Dongola Avenue, then work in a shared area upstairs for up to three hours.

The sessions, which would cost £25, are the brainchild of four local mums who all struggled to find flexible childcare for their children.

Mums Laura Williams and Isabel Kearney met KudaCan owner Pegah Esmaili at a Freelance Mum networking event organised by Faye Dicker. They are planning to run pilot sessions in the spring to see how much demand there is.

Laura Williams, a freelance marketing and journalism professional, said working freelance didn’t fit well with traditional nursery or childminder offerings.

She said: “At most places you sign up for set days and need at least a month’s notice to change anything. But when you work freelance, you might have two days of work this week, a different day the following week, and nothing the week after that, when you certainly won’t have the income to cover a childcare place you’re not using.

“These flexible co-working sessions only need to be booked a week in advance, and there is no commitment to come on a regular basis. Bristol has the highest percentage of home workers outside London, so we’re hoping this could transform the lives of working parents.”

She said that in the future similar sessions could be run in other parts of Bristol.

KudaCan owner Pegah Esmaili said the play cafe is already used by hundreds of families every week and she hoped that many parents will find the co-working facility and creche useful.

She said: “We have tables, chairs and wifi – the staple requirements for every freelancer. We’d like to use the pilot as an opportunity to get feedback and if it looks set to become a more regular thing, and we really hope it does, we would look to provide anything else that would make the co-working space more user friendly.”

Dates for the trial sessions will be announced on the “Bristol freelance parent hub” Facebook group and at kudacan.co.uk