Parents' Nook: Our Mission, Our Philosophy, and FAQ

Parents' Nook: Our Mission, Our Philosophy, and FAQ

editor's desk

In the absence of the village, mothers struggle most.”  - Beth Berry

Parenting in the modern world can be deeply exhausting.

Childcare is available for some, but it does little to address the brutal isolation that many parents face. They drop their children off with near-strangers and spend the day apart from them, only to pick them up and go home to an empty house surrounded by neighbors they’ve never met.

This sense of parenting in a vacuum has increased drastically over the past year.

As our world becomes more digitalized, isolation continues to increase. Children are separated from their peers, expected to learn alone in front of a screen or stack of worksheets. Parents are struggling to balance work and parenting without childcare.

Basic human needs -- connection, security, community -- are going unmet.

We were never meant to live this way.

And we don’t have to.

Our Philosophy

At Parents’ Nook, we’re working to connect like-minded neighbors and create true community for our children. We provide an alternative to the broken childcare system and provide children with opportunities for open-ended play and connection.

We believe that all people -- especially children -- deserve to be treated with respect.

At Parents’ Nooks, parents stay on-site. There are separate areas for children and adults (to provide parents with a few hours to themselves), but you’ll be right there if your child needs you.

Free Play

“Play is nature's way of teaching children how to solve their own problems, control their impulses, modulate their emotions, see from others' perspectives, negotiate differences and get along with others as equals. There is no substitute for play as a means of learning these skills.”
- Peter Gray

Our childcare philosophy draws from RIE, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and more. Our child-led approach offers support without imposing rigid rules. A variety of open-ended materials and mixed-age groups encourage children to play and explore.

Our Play Facilitators create a YES space where children are free to explore.

Creating Community

Open-ended play is foundational to the Parents’ Nook philosophy, but we offer so much more than play. We bolster mental health by providing opportunities for community and connection. We want the support you find at Parents’ Nook to continue even when your time there is up.

We believe that childcare (and parent care!) needs to catch up with our changing society. Families are in dire need of resources during these strange and solitary times.

Support is so scarce that many parents are forced to accept what’s easily available… or they’re left with no support at all.

We are working to connect families by providing them with a safe space to gather, childcare experts, and an environment in which our kids can flourish.

Parents’ Nook communities have the potential to create a smooth transition for families who choose to homeschool. The relationships forged when your children are small will carry over as they grow.

Play Facilitators

Play Facilitators are local experts and/or parents who are paid to create temporary play spaces for children and remain in these spaces to supervise. These childcare experts are more than just the help; they’re the foundation of our community.

Here at Parents’ Nook, our central goal is to create community for young families. By sourcing Play Facilitators from your neighborhood, we aim to connect you with local childcare providers and experts on everything from breastfeeding to early childhood education.

They are not there to steer the children’s exploration or take over their play! As long as children are playing happily, Play Facilitators can fade into the background. They’ll keep a watchful eye over your children, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on your work.

The Nooks Themselves

We use the work Nook to describe each scheduled meet-up.

Nooks can happen in a wide variety of locations, including:

  • Homes
  • Yards
  • Coffee Shops
  • Parks
  • Coworking Spaces
  • Libraries

Play Facilitators set out to create curiosity-evoking environments that welcome children in. These calm and inviting spaces offer a variety of open-ended materials that give children the opportunity to engage fully -- to enter that state of perfect flow where joy and learning overlap.

Community Feedback

“A space where parents and facilitators can be flexible about when the children need to reconnect with parents, engage with facilitators, or find their flow is such a valuable option.”
- Samantha Infeld, Founding Member of Parents’ Nook

“Parent’s Nook takes a vested interest in bringing the community closer. Working with local businesses, they help foster relationships between local parents, children, and the spaces and people at the heart of the community. They help create a local network of support that lifts up not only the growth and development of the children’s play and learning, but the importance of ties between neighbors. As a play facilitator, I was inspired by the connections I saw, watching the children explore the world around them and discover new and amazing things, while their parents were also exploring, discovering the people and places that had always been just blocks away, all of them caring for one another as we all should.”
- Made Yates, Play Facilitator

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at a Parents’ Nook meetup?

Each Nook has at least two areas: a workspace for parents and a playspace for kids. There may be a separate play space for babies; Play Facilitators will set up each Nook according to the age groups expected. Whenever possible, children are given the opportunity to play outside.

Can I stay with my child?

Yes! We encourage parents to stay with their children for as long as is necessary to ensure that everyone is comfortable and content. This may be one minute for some children and one hour for others. You know your child best.

Do I have to supervise my child?

Nope! That’s what our Play Facilitators are there for. These professional play experts are on hand at all times to ensure that children are safe and that they feel safe too.

You’ll be on-site in case your child needs to reconnect, but you’ll have space to rest, work, or socialize.

How long does a Nook last?

Nooks run from two to four hours. We’ve found this to be the ideal amount of time for parents to get a meaningful amount of work done without the kids getting burnt out. Longer Nooks can provide simple snacks tailored to the needs of participating families.

How can I start a Nook in my neighborhood?

Join our facebook group or contact our founder Tanaya at tanaya@parents-nook.com to discuss the possibility of facilitating a new Parents’ Nook.

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
- Arundhati Roy