This past week, The Wing, a network of coworking and community spaces designed for women launched a new initiative called, The Little Wing, which provides programming and babysitting for members’ children.
The Little Wing gives moms a safe space to drop their children off, under the supervision of “Wing-sitters”, so that they can cowork or attend events while their kids, ages one to six, have access to art, music, movement classes, monthly programming tailored to specific age groups, and open play hours for parents to join in on the fun.
Lauren Kassan, the co-founder and COO of The Wing, shared the reasoning behind this new initiative, which is set to launch in December at their SoHo location in New York City.
Jen Glantz: What made The Wing decide to bring The Little Wing program into fruition?
Lauren Kassan: Just like we do with everything here at The Wing, we started with our members. We asked them what they would want out of The Little Wing, and we listened.
As a mom of a 9-month old, I know firsthand that one of the greatest barriers to working as a parent is lack of flexible work schedules and access to child-care. That’s why I’m particularly proud that The Wing will be introducing babysitting and children’s programming.
By offering a solution for our members who are parents, we want to help contribute to a world where there is no perceived motherhood penalty. One of the greatest barriers to working as a parent is lack of flexible work schedules and access to affordable care, and with the opening of the Little Wing, we hope to serve as a solution to both of those issues. We believe parents deserve room to spread their wings.
Jen Glantz: What will be included in the programming?
Kassan: The Little Wing was developed alongside Keri Snyder who most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at the long-running childcare facility, Citibabes, in SoHo. Additionally, Lisa Spiegel and Jean Kunhardt, directors of Soho Parenting, a veteran NYC-based parenting center for nearly 30 years, helped shape the vision for the programming at The Little Wing. Workshops and programming will address diverse topics such as effective sleep and toilet training, mindful co-parenting, queer parenting and family planning, sibling relationships, stress-reduction, as well as feeding and solid foods.
Jen Glantz: The Little Wing disrupts the traditional method of coworking for women. Can you explain how and why you felt introducing this programming and babysitting option was necessary?
Kassan: The Wing’s mission is the advancement of women through community – it’s a space for working women and there’s no denying that being a parent is a full-time job, and arguably the most difficult jobs. It was really vital for us to offer a solution to our members who are parents, or thinking about or trying to become parents – by creating a dedicated space and support system for them through The Little Wing.
Jen Glantz: How will The Little Wing help inspire the kids who come there?
Kassan: The Little Wing will create a space for members with children or “Winglets” to connect through additional programming for parents, including programming that is for specific age groups and inclusive of all types of children, families and family structures.