Re: Child care in cohousing
From: David L. Mandel (75407.2361compuserve.com)
Date: Wed, 3 May 95 03:37 CDT
Our children's play room is pretty large, about 15 x 30 is my guess. Child 
care is strictly informal; the room belongs to kids 10 and under, who often 
use it on their own with minimal supervision before and after meals and at 
other times. We never had the idea of it being set up for commercial use; I 
have no idea whether it would meet code for that. The biggest problem 
(surprise!) is clean-up; the little monsters often forget the concept, parents
get uptight and stressed with each other. It's gotten a lot better lately 
since the kids met and decided that a useful step would be to remove 90 
percent of the toys that were hardly being used anyway. A lot of these were 
members' unwanted crap "donated" when we moved in. So we "recycled" most of 
what they said they could live without, putting a few things we couldn't part 
with (my old Brio wooden trains I've had since age 3) in storage. These kids 
are geniuses, really.
        By contrast, the only children's room I've seen that's used for 
commercial child care was at Nyland, near Boulder. It looked gorgeous, but if 
I understood correctly on my quick tour, it is typically unavailable to the 
resident children when they would most want to use it, partly because it needs
to  be kept so neat and partly because its location was too far from the adult
dining room.
        We also have a teen room, only slightly smaller, upstairs in the 
common house. It's been underused and also not kept up very well. A plan to 
paint murals on the walls recently transmogrified into a lot of fairly ugly 
graffiti that the teens have said they'll paint over. We have received the 
teens' permission on occasion to use the room for other things, such as a 
Sunday morning class (twice that I know of) and a massage night once every 
couple months. The latest talk is that we may set up a neighborhood radio 
station in the room.
        I hope you find this helpful.

David Mandel, Southside Park Cohousing, Sacramento 
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