If you’ve ever had to work from home while your kids are there, you’ll recognize Plug & Play for the brilliant concept it is. One side is a business-savvy workspace to meet your professional needs; the other is a fully licensed, curriculum-based childcare center to meet your child’s learning and playing needs.
Plenty of people have floated this idea — whether as a home-based, co-op-style environment or as leased office space with a shared nanny — but I’ve never seen it actually click before. Amy Braden, owner and co-founder of Plug & Play, has made it click.
Talking to Amy, you get the idea that she could bring any good idea to fruition. As a former project manager for an international corporation, she’s spearheaded projects with budgets exponentially larger than Plug & Play’s, but this baby’s all hers. And she’s loving it. You can tell.
Amy calls Plug & Play a “work-life solution” — and that’s exactly right. As a freelancer, I can’t tell you how often I wished for a place like this before my child started kindergarten! But it’s not just for us freelance types — Plug & Play has flexible packages for those who work a little or work a lot. There’s no contract, so if you’re out on maternity leave and starting back to work slowly, you can use Plug & Play as a place to gently re-enter your job. If your company offers you the flexibility to work from home, Plug & Play is a great place to be when home … isn’t; for instance, to meet with a client or have a conference call. Amy’s thought of everything, from a stylish meeting room and smaller private spaces to a “work bar” for those who like a more coffee-shop style of camaraderie or never miss a chance to network.
But get this — this is what really had me wishing I could go back in time and take Amy with me: Plug & Play is a fully licensed childcare center, so you can … wait for it … leave. That’s right, you can meet your work commitments and then go to the grocery store, all while your kid/kids have a great time learning and playing. How cool is that? The kids’ side of P&P is a Reggio-inspired play and learning area — that means no screens and plenty of crafts, toys and interaction. Plug & Play takes children from 6 weeks to 5 years. There’s a baby room, a toddler room and a bigger kids’ room (I didn’t get a picture of the big kids’ room because there were nappers in there.) And there is, of course, a nursing nook in the baby room.
I’ve probably gushed enough for one post, and have skipped over some things (yes, there’s WiFi and a printer and fax, a fridge and a microwave — seriously, it’s all there). Let me just say this: If you have a work/life situation that might be improved by Plug & Play, go have a tour. Talk to Amy. You will be sold. She’s got everything you need. Even coffee.
For updates and specials, be sure to like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
GIVEAWAY for one lucky LiveMom reader: A three-visit pass to Plug & Play, good for up to 4 hours per visit of work space + child care for kids ages 6 weeks – 5 years. First punch must be used by October 1, 2012 (expires October 31, 2012).
What do you have to do to win? Leave a comment or fill out the form below. A winner will be chosen on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 9:00am CST. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond to claim the pass. You must be 18 years of age to enter. Only one entry per household. Holds no cash value. By filling out the form or leaving a comment, you agree to the above terms.
Disclosure: LiveMom did not receive any compensation for this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own.
Written by: Shannon Oelrich