A new daycare center in LA is offering parents a flexible childcare option and to that I say, HALLELUJAH! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched and wondered why this town doesn’t have flexible childcare. It’s called WeVillage and it’s going to be your new best friend.
As an actor I often get last-minute auditions that only require an hour or two of my time. Hiring a nanny for that amount of time several days a week can get very expensive so I need a better option. And the entertainment business can often thrust parents into last-minute situations like meetings, auditions or freelance work for a day or two. So having a flexible option for childcare is essential for survival in LA.
I was invited to the grand opening of WeVillage to take a look around and I can tell you it was impressive. It doesn’t look like a typical daycare that can sometimes feel crowded or messy. This space feels open, and clean and very inviting.
I had the chance to speak with the owner Karen Beninati about why she started this business. She tells me she drew inspiration from her own need for flexible childcare as a mom of two and a business woman.
I also talked to Rebecca Romijn and her husband Jerry O’Connell who are investors in the business. They became fans while Rebecca was filming her show The Librarians in Portland where the first WeVillage is located. She says that’s where they fell in love with the concept and wanted to work with Beninati to bring it to LA. She explains that in detail on my podcast.
Here’s the details…WeVillage offers flexible, hourly childcare from infants up to age 12. The space is divided into sections so that the tiny babies won’t get run over by the bigger kids. In fact there’s a lot of fantastic areas for the bigger kids to play in like a giant rope net that leads to a glass treehouse in the center of the room. And it’s Hollywood so of course there’s a stage. Beninati says that’s where musical acts and performers can entertain the kids.
The colors are vibrant, but not overwhelming. The space has plenty of room for the kids to run, and quiet nooks for kids who want to curl up with a book. There’s a giant doll house, an area to create and a place to eat with sparkly light fixtures of course.
Beninati tells me that they will also have summer, winter, and spring camps for those times when kids are out of school but parents aren’t out of work. There are also special date night options if you just need a night out with your special someone.
Beninati tells me all the staff have their CPR/First Aid certifications and have a minimum 12 ECE units so they are prepared for not only caring and educating, but also emergency situations. They are also given a background check and are fingerprinted before starting work.
Now how much does all this wonderfulness cost? I had the same question. It’s LA so you can expect to pay LA prices, but they are reasonable for what you get. Take a look at the rate sheet below. It shows anywhere from $14 to $22 and hour and there are daily rates from there. I would gladly pay $14 an hour to have peace of mind knowing my daughter is not just being cared for, but having fun while I’m at an audition or a meeting.
To check it out for yourself and book an appointment just click here and maybe I’ll see you there and we can have snacks under the shiny chandeliers.