The Scoop on the Coggeshall Connection, RI’s First Family-Friendly Co-Work Space

The Middletown space offers child care solutions for working parents.

A pumpkin slime play table and tissue paper Tree of Life greet children to their hands-on classroom at the Coggeshall Club in Middletown. Meanwhile, sleek shared office space upstairs beckons working parents to send emails or meet with clients in peace. The adjacent fitness room offers an adrenalin-induced escape.

This is the modern, multitasking, members-only solution for over-scheduled families. Attempting to shift the paradigm of traditional child care to reinvent working parents’ options, this Montessori-style child care and co-working space opened in August. Co-founder and owner Britt Riley, a local tech marketing guru, says the concept is a dream come true.

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Images courtesy of the Coggeshall Connection/SARA Cooney Photography.

“You get here, drop off the kids in our licensed daycare facility with experienced teachers, go upstairs to exercise, shower and then check on your kiddos while you get some work done, run errands or just kick up your feet. It’s all in one place,” she explains. “It is an entirely new age to be a family. It is stressful on good days with traditional solutions, so we aim to take as much stress off people’s plates as possible.”

When her own young daughters were babies, Riley struggled to find adequate flexible care that allowed her to continue her career. She was running around so much catering to the facility’s schedule, that even working remotely didn’t allow for professional productivity. This concept spawned from these frustrations and the realization that she couldn’t be the only one experiencing them. So, she and business partner, Morgan Everson, found a building, managed the renovations, secured DCYF licensing and opened their pilot facility less than three months after signing the lease.

“We had child care before but it wasn’t aligned with our pace of life. If I had an appointment, wanted to exercise or had a client that needed to meet with me outside of the facility’s limited hours, I had to ask someone else to stop what they were doing to watch my kids. The result was limited self-care and existing in a constant state of triage,” explains working Portsmouth mom and Coggeshall Club member Dr. Deanna Conley. “Life is still hectic, but this place has changed our lives on so many levels. Our whole family is supported, the energy is calm, and that is seeping into our family dynamic.”

Once the Club’s expansion plan is realized, members will be able to travel between a goal of eighty to 100 clubs nationwide, providing continuity when traveling or for military families stationed elsewhere, Riley says. Its 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule and community-based events make it approachable, and its flexibility provides a crucial resource. “I’m totally present for my family now, which I couldn’t say before. The mom guilt has taken a back seat to contentedness, and it is proving to be a very helpful solution for our community as well,” Riley says. “This is a great opportunity to shift the daycare and working paradigm to create a healthy integration of work and life for modern families.” coggeshallclub.com

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