Whether you are a parent or not, few could argue with the reality of the daily life battles demonstrated in the brutally honest BBC comedy Motherland which hit our screens last year. If you have not seen it yet, get it on your planner ASAP!
Leaving the house on time, having remembered everything that needs doing and getting to work looking halfway presentable can be a challenge for most, without the odd hand grenade of unplanned or unforeseen events being thrown in.
But for those juggling parenthood with a career, the addition of someone else’s itinerary, issues and needs can make for a perfect storm – everyday. As well as adding stress to a schedule that has a finite cut off point i.e. work, the daily battle to deliver children to childcare does nothing for the overall relationship. Frazzled parents and children with little concept of time typically don’t sit well together.
As parents ourselves, we have all experienced ‘the morning drop’ and some of us continue to do so. And because of this experience, when we developed the masterplan for the campus we all knew from the start that we needed to bring childcare provision in as a priority, to help support our occupiers and their teams.
With the extension to the Tops Day Nursery now well underway, our vision for childcare has been proven as the nursery team continue to enjoy high demand. Rolling the morning drop and arrival at work into one seamless event hopefully helps for a slightly more harmonious start to the working day. It also gives us great pleasure when we look out and see mums and dads enjoying the added benefit of being able to pop and see their little people at lunch and on breaks.
We also know that for our occupiers, the availability of childcare on the campus has helped them attract and retain staff and provide a more flexible working day for return to work parents.
As good as they are, Tops can only cater for children up to school age – and for many the school drop and corralling teenagers might be more tricky than managing toddlers into nursery. And it is for this reason that our masterplan also included access to chocolate and coffee through the outlets in the Atrium and Central Square which seemed like an easier (and quieter) solution than building a school…!