Behind the scenes: How flexible childcare works at Tadah

Anyone who brings their child to a daycare centre not only wants it to receive high-quality care and support – but also wants maximum flexibility as a parent. With “Tadah” a coworking space with childcare has been created in Switzerland that does just that. With Mirjam Stauffacher Jutzi, director of the “Tadah Kids Space”, we were invited to take a look behind the scenes of the innovative daycare centre – and talk about what should change in terms of childcare in Switzerland.

“Tadah” is called “Co-Working with Childcare”. What can parents envisage by that?

Our concept is completely dedicated to flexibility and thus the compatibility of family and work. This is a need that many parents have and that not all daycare centres can fulfil. With us, there is no contract with fixed days. On weekdays parents can have their child looked after half or full days according to their needs. This is communicated to us at least 48 hours in advance so that we can guarantee the care. We are aimed at all parents who do not have a 9 to 5 job and need flexibility in their working day.

How can parents register their child with you? What is different from other daycare centres?

Firstly, they create their profile on our website. There they also enter all the information about the child’s habits and needs. Of course, parents are also welcome to visit us beforehand. We have a visit the last Monday of every month. On the day booked, one parent usually brings the child to the “Tadah Kids Space” and, depending on the needs of the child and the parent, stays until both parties feel comfortable. Afterwards, it’s off to the 2nd floor for mum or dad to cowork.

How are you set up to be able to guarantee high flexibility?

At the moment we are two permanent employees, each working 100% in childcare. Together we have over 25 years of professional experience in childcare. It is very important to us that Kids Space has professional childminders. If we have an above-average number of bookings on a day, we have two temporary staff who come regularly and also know the children.

What does a typical working day look like to you?

My working day starts with checking online which children are coming to us and preparing everything for the day. After that, I receive the children and talk to the parents. After saying goodbye, I accompany the children to play or to a guided activity. The rest of our day is guided by the children and their interests. Apart from the fixed meal times and the corresponding rituals, our daily routine is very open. As the director, I also organise holiday camps, recruit staff and run the quality management. A high pedagogical standard is very important to me.

What is particularly challenging about your daily work?

The high flexibility does not always make our daily planning easy. Planning activities or playground visits is a challenge because the children don’t just come at 8am and are also not only picked up from 5pm.

And what is particularly enriching?

I find the work with the children very enriching in itself. Since the parents are not contractually bound to us there is also positive feedback for us every time they return. It is also wonderful to hear that children at home ask when they can come back to Kids Space.

“Tadah” is still a relatively young undertaking in Switzerland. What particularly surprised or pleased you at the start?

I didn’t expect that my co-worker and I would get used to the flexible concept so quickly. The second point is the acclimatisation of the children. Among other things, since it is often standard for children to take at least two weeks to settle in, I was a little sceptical about how this would work for us. However, experience has shown that the children react individually. Now I am much more relaxed about the whole thing. We also have the advantage that the parents all work in the same building. If something should happen, they can quickly be with us.

What do you think parents with young children should know about childcare?

Ideally, daycare centres see themselves as a complement to the family. Even though we are professionals, parents are still the experts of their own child. Listening to your own gut feeling is usually the right decision.

In general, what is your view on the current situation of external childcare in Switzerland – for parents as well as for daycare centres?

For the parents, the financial burden is difficult to bear, and at the same time, the wages for childcare workers are far too low. There is still a lot of room for improvement on both counts.

What would you like to change in this area?

I would like to involve early childcare in the school system. Families would be relieved financially by higher state subsidies and the daycare centres could create incentives with better pay and working conditions, which would be attractive for qualified and good staff.

Mirjam Stauffacher-Jutzi has been with “Tadah Kids Space” from the beginning and has been managing it since 2020. As a qualified childcare specialist, she is responsible for the entire childcare offering – from flexible daycare to playgroups.

Awina supports you in the rush hour of life. You want a career, children, a job with meaning and time for yourself and your passion? We help you to reconcile everything. Because we believe that daycare costs should not stand in the way of a career.