Business offers office space and daycare

June 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
An innovative Bay Area business is offering a solution for parents who want to focus on work and have their children close at hand. What if you can rent an office while your kids get licensed childcare in the same building?

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While 11-month-old Kira practices her jumping skills, her mother is at work, just one room away.

"I like the fact that once we get here my commute is done. I commute from one room to the other," said working mother Emily Marciniak.

And no, Marciniak is not at home and not at the office. She's at Cubes & Crayons, a unique location that combines office space for adults who need to work, and kid space, a place for the young ones to play under licensed childcare.

"We have a lot of grad students, we have management consultants, we have entrepreneurs," said Felicity Chapman, founder of Cubes & Crayons.

It's filling the gap of a place for basically anyone who has flexible work-needs. Chapman, a mother of two, says she saw the need and so she started Cubes & Crayons a year ago, and it's proving successful. There is a Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View and a new one just opened this month in San Francisco's Portrero Hill neighborhood. Sometimes it's a solution with unexpected benefits.

"People come and they're like 'ooh, I'm going to get so much work done,' and they do get a lot of work done, but they also get a whole bunch of friends and community and interesting people and connections to new jobs," said Chapman.

Members can interchange their use of the Mountain View or San Francisco office and pay for only the hours they schedule.

"I can sign up for four hours on a Monday and then eight hours on Tuesday and then come back on Friday for a full day if I wanted to," said Marciniak.

You can even drop in, using just office space, just childcare, or both on an as-needed basis.

"My wife and I were kind of juggling this week and I had a lot going on at work," said San Mateo working father Mike Etheridge.

Etheridge had a temporary issue with daycare for his son, so Cubes & Crayons turned into a great back-up option.

"It's super quiet in here and they have the wireless connection," said Etheridge.

The price of peace and play is also quite affordable, averaging about $15 an hour, much less than someone could rent an office space and hire hourly childcare and it's becoming a much-appreciated location.

"So many stories from our members about, you know, that before they came in they were in the middle of a conference call and junior woke up early and that was that and now they don't look like a professional, and you need to look like a professional when you're out there working, especially in the current economy," said Chapman.

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