Schools Open Co-Working Spaces for Parents

There is a new trend in Singapore’s schools for co-working spaces for parents. We look at two international schools (and a pre-school) that are offering a workspace for mums and dads.
Schools Open Co-Working Spaces for Parents
By Carli Allan
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A parent co-working space, due to open at Tanglin Trust School later this year

For most working parents, the major perks of a co-working space are free wi-fi or a decent cup of coffee. How about finding a place to work that is not just close to your child's school, but actually inside it!

The global boom in flexible working has seen the growth of co-working spaces with on-site childcare in countries such as the US and the UK. Spaces such as Third Door in London and The Wing in New York give parents a hot desk to work at while their pre-school children play and learn under the same roof.

International schools in Singapore are going one step further – and offering co-working spaces to parents with children aged four through to 18 years. They're designing new spaces with parents in mind, and offering meeting rooms, desks, private cubicles and other working facilities (as well, of course, as a place to buy coffee). Several schools in the Red Dot are home to parent cafes, which become a popular meeting point at drop off and pick-up – but could (and should) schools also become a place for parents to work?

Tanglin Trust School

Tanglin is increasing its parent facilities with large parent lounges and viewing areas for sporting fixtures

Tanglin Trust will be launching a parent co-working space within its new Centenary Tower, due to open in September.

“Parents need, not just a place to have a cup of coffee or sit and do some emails, but maybe a space to have a meeting. I think it really caters to our diverse community,” says Cecilia Handel, Tanglin’s Director of Development.

The coworking space is one of several new parent spaces within the school, including viewing areas for swimming and other sports activities and a larger parent café, which is already hugely popular with parents waiting between infant and junior pick-ups or during CCAs.

A new Parent Cafe will open in the Centenary Tower

It’s spaces like these that can help to build a school community. And, while Covid-19 restrictions have meant that parents have been unable to go beyond the gates, the school hopes that it can soon offer new families the opportunity to meet other parents face to face. Ms Handel adds:

“New parents have missed that opportunity for encounters with other parents. These new spaces will give them a plethora of opportunity to meet other parents and help embed their children within the Tanglin community.”

Nexus International School

What parents can look forward to at Nexus...

Nexus International School will soon be opening a co-working facility for parents who need a working space in Singapore. It plans to have meeting rooms and cubicles where mums and dads can work after the school drop-off; parents can also use the school's Eco Cafe – all when Covid-19 restrictions allow.

A co-working space with desks and private work booths

Trehaus School

In 2016, Trehaus opened a combined co-working space and playgroup for children up to three years at Claymore Connect mall in Orchard Road. Parents who enrol their children into Trehaus School can gain access to its on-site business centre.

Trehaus co-founder and CEO Dr Elaine Kim says:

“The world is changing. Working parents of today don’t want to have to choose between career and family, and with Trehaus, they don’t have to. They don’t have to be bound to an office desk away from their children from 9 to 6, and miss out on being present in their children’s fleeting first years.

How parent-friendly is your school? Share your views with us at [email protected]

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