Sorry, that was just to get your attention! As everyone with children knows, being a parent is a full-time, permanent job. However, one of the benefits of freelancing is that it’s often much easier to fit work around children – rather than children around work, which is what usually has to happen if you’re in a permanent, 9-5 job. However, it seems the government is finally starting to cotton on to the idea of flexible working arrangements to make life a little easier for time-starved mums and dads.
On 14 November, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave his keynote speech on flexible parental leave, and the right to request flexible working for everyone – not only parents – from an innovative business. Third Door Workhub & Nursery, in Wandsworth, south London, is the brainchild of husband and wife team Yusuf Chadun and Shazia Mustafa (pictured above with Nick Clegg). As parents of three young children themselves, they fully understand the conflict between needing to work and having quality childcare, so Third Door offers an innovative concept: a workspace and nursery in one facility.
Members buy a monthly package and are able to book childcare sessions and hours to suit online. There is also a pay-as-you-go option for people whose working patterns change on a regular basis. The system does away with a stressful commute, worrying about dropping off or picking up children and, importantly, means you can concentrate on work knowing your child is being given quality care nearby.
"Like many of the best ideas, it is a brilliantly simple concept,” says the Deputy Prime Minister, “but one that took two truly inspirational people to think up. Third Door gives people flexibility and choice so they can combine a fulfilling career with one of the most rewarding jobs there is - being a parent."
“It’s about time we did move into the 21st century and today’s announcement is certainly one step closer,” says Shazia. “Third Door is already ahead of the game, having met a gap in the market for flexible nurseries and allowing fathers to be able to spend quality time with their child during the working week and not just at weekends. We are thrilled with the endorsement from the Deputy Prime Minister and hope that in the not too distance future that there are Third Door facilities throughout the UK”.
For more information and to see a video of what the space looks like, go to www.third-door.com or ring Shazia on 0208 8770098.
By Liz Granirer