Many working parents find it difficult to combine their duties as caring parents spending enough time with their kids and as efficient employees at their work place. But now the lives of all these parents can change for the better by a perfect combination of a work place and a kids’ place in one building.
“Live, Work, Play”
Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI) launched their new initiative “Live, Work, Play” aiming to reach a balance between the social integration and connections of the working parents (Live), their work development and career (Work), and their children (Play).
Anne Yianni – one of the founders of ESI, explained that the idea behind the initiative is to create a place where parents can do their job in a professional environment working with other people so that they can pursue their career and broaden their network while at the same time have their kids in the room “next-door” who are taken care of by professional daycare workers in a homelike environment.
Presently located in a building at High Tech Campus near all restaurants and some sport facilities, the “Live, Work, Play” initiative aims to highlight the importance of the combination of work socialization, everyday needs such as food and sport, and taking care of one’s own kids.
“The initiative is aimed at benefiting both the parents and the kids”, beamed Yianni while holding her 10-month baby on her chest. “We want to create flexible daycare where you are accessible to both your work and your kids”, she furthered.
This pilot initiative benefits parents in several ways. First, parents do not need to stay at home taking care of their kids. Thus, both parents in the family can have an equal opportunity to follow their career and this can inevitably lead to a more relaxed atmosphere at home which is good both for the parents and the kids. Second, parents do not need to leave their kids to a daycare centre and see them only when they are back from work.
“I absolutely love this concept! Having a kindergarten next to you when working.”
Ana Vaz, a mother of two, shared her enthusiasm about the initiative. “I absolutely love this concept. I still need to work at home and my kids play there, but here is an environment with other kids and also people who take care of them. This is perfect – having a kindergarten next to you when working. It is also cool for the kids because you do not abandon them in the kindergarten and spend only half an hour with them – they feel you are near!”.
Yianni agreed that the initiative is aimed to benefit the kids, too. By playing in a more dynamic environment including other kids rather than playing alone at home kids can learn to easily adjust to new situations and people. Moreover, “they will have more quality time with their parents”, Yianni highlighted.
“Live, Work, Play” is taking place from 28 February till 2 March. It provides various activities for the kids who are looked after by professional daycare workers. Anne-Marie van der Loo, one of the volunteers at the event who has almost 23 years of experience in childcare, enumerated some of the activities: Emmi Pikler activities where kids can explore their surrounding and build their three-dimensional understanding of the world through experiencing things, different experiments – with water and sand in order to discover different materials and textures, and also with squares, circles, and triangles in order to differentiate forms. There are also sport classes, music classes, and math classes.
“We want to create the perfect situation for both parents and kids.”
Ideally the team of ESI hopes to transform this three-day event into a stable child-friendly and well-equipped place for joint activities between parents and kids. “We want to make sure that all three facets are equally balanced – live, work, and play! We want to create the perfect situation for both parents and kids.”
All photos were taken by Van Tran.