It’s amazing that we seemingly approach children as an aberration in everything from parental leave policies through (early) childhood development. If physical space remains a significant barrier in costly urban areas that also presents very interesting opportunities for select incumbents like:
- WeWork — in addition to developing co0living spaces a WeWork creche could be a highly regarded add-on subscription. Since several WeWorks are often within short walking distance they wouldn’t each need to have creche space (in other words several adjacent WeWorks could be served by one creche). Parents could pop in at certain times of day (eg. lunch) and spend time with their kids. Companies who are WeWork could offer this as an additional benefit (or offer to non-members at higher price point)
- Gyms — my closest Equinox has fully staffed childcare facilities where your kids can hang out while you’re working out (I believe there’s a maximum time-limit of a few hours though). Since the space is already there I can see this turning into a structured subscription program as well (and since this is Equinox perhaps the emphasis here could be on development of kids’ sports skills/knowledge of physical culture).
- Magnet companies — Google and Etsy readily come to mind with their large facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn respectively (but also workforces of significant scale). Building an on-board creche could be a big advantage for recruitment and retainment (especially if it’s heavily employer-subsidized). Opening doors to neighborhood kids whose parents aren’t employees could help easily fund the program (again at a higher pricepoint).
The longer we ignore this problem the more strain it puts on parents (and traditionally the bigger portion of this strain continues to be borne by professional women).