Third Door, a different approach to providing childcare

Third Door is the UK's first coworking and flexible nursery hybrid business, based in South-west London. Shazia co-founded the business nine years ago with her husband. Back then and even more so today, Third Door has been about removing the parenthood penalty and creaing a better work/life balance for mums and dads.

You can read more about Third Door and how it was created here.

With the children being so close in the same building, does this impact the way you work?

No, we don't find that there are any challenges with the children being on site with their parents. We find that it gives parents peace of mind knowing their child is just one floor away from them. The children do not have access to the Workhub during their time in the nursery and the two areas are kept very separate (and sound proofed). Parents can pop into the nursery whenever they please, but we find that they do not unless that are still nursing their child.

What tips would you give for working with parents in this way?

Our main tip is to trust the teachers in the nursery to care for their child and for parents to refrain from popping in every five minutes when their child is settling in. This is mainly for the child's benefit to be honest, as they can find it difficult seeing mummy and daddy when they are trying to get used to a new setting.

Do your members find it beneficial?

Yes of course. We have multiple examples on how we have helped parents who are anxious about leaving their child, especially in the very early years. Having an onsite workspace also dramatically reduces the parent's commute, meaning less stress and more time to spend with their little ones. The nursery is basically one minute away from the workspace (just upstairs) so the working day is shorter and likewise parents can work very effectively. The flexibility also helps save costs too if parents don't want to commit to sending their child to nursery every day. Our nursery solution is super-flexible allowing parents to choose between fixed days and flexible packages, upgrade and downgrade their childcare package depending on their needs.

With the flexibility we offer, we have helped countless families, especially mothers who may not have otherwise returned to work and continue their careers on a full-time or flexible basis. We also have many members who are freelancers or run their own business and they say they couldn't have done this without the services we offer. We always designed our serivces and amenities to be inclusive of fathers, and as a result, are delighted with all our dad members who also regularly use the Workhub.

What can be the challenges?

I would say that the main challenges is when parents just pop into the nursery at random times. This can be confusing for the children.

What makes it different from a more 'normal' setting?

To be honest, the nursery is like any other 'normal' setting. The only difference is the flexibility we offer and having the onsite workspace for parents. Everything else is exactly as you would find in an Ofsted registered nursery.