Coworking with children&elderly in the Alps – COWORCare

The ARPAF project “COWORCare. Coworking with children&elderly in the Alps” aims to improve the quality of working life in rural and mountain territories of the EUSALP area by linking coworking and coworkation spaces with private caregiving institutions, such as kindergartens and elderly-care institutions. COWORCare is mainly addressed to families and women working in the mountain and rural territories of the EUSALP area. Among the project’s objectives is building a map where it is possible to identify the spaces of coworking, coworkation and coworcare, and private caregiving institutions within 10km.

Do you know a place, but you can’t find it? Suggest it!

Project objectives
Coworking is becoming popular among young people, as well as commuters, freelancers,(startups) companies.As seen in the past 2 years care work is still mainly female,thus hindering women to take more part in the job market. Only sparsely coworking&care options are offered,mainly in bigger cities.
The project aims to create an online information platform for coworking and coworkation spaces in the Alpine areas in combination with child & elderly care to enable especially young mothers and fathers and women, who still do the vast amount of social care, to work in a creative environment close to their homes /or holiday stay and having at the same time their children/elderly cared for in or nearby the coworking structure. Thus, enabling more young families and single parents to take part in the local labour market, reducing commuter traffic and establishing a more cooperative and open working culture also in (remote) alpine valleys.
Guideline - How to set up a CoworCare space

Setting up COWORCare, which combines coworking space with childcare services, can be a worthwhile business venture. It meets the needs of parents who want to work while ensuring their children are well cared for. COWORCare requires careful planning, a commitment to safety and quality of care, and a strong focus on creating a supportive and inclusive community for parents and professionals.

The following are the top 10 issues to consider when building such a facility:

  1. Legal requirements, licensing and insurance. Learn about local and national regulations and licensing requirements for childcare facilities. Compliance with these regulations is critical to the feasibility and well-being of the children being cared for. Obtain the necessary licenses and insurance for your business’s coworking and childcare aspects.
  1. Location. Proximity to public transportation and schools can be an advantage. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen location and devise competitive advantage and marketing strategies accordingly.
  1. Facility design. Create separate areas for coworking, childcare, and community spaces. Ensure that the childcare area is stimulating, age-appropriate, and protected.
  1. Childcare staff. Hire qualified, experienced childcare staff trained in early childhood education and first aid. Conduct background checks and ensure staff are properly certified and hold required licenses.
  1. Safety & Hygiene Procedures. Implement strict safety protocols to protect children, including security measures, child restraints, and emergency plans. In light of health issues such as COVID-19, implement strict cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure the safety of children and adults.
  1. Age groups & hours of operation. Decide on the age groups you want to serve. You can focus on infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or a combination. Each age group has its own requirements for care. Set your hours of operation. Flexible hours that can be adjusted to accommodate different work schedules can provide a competitive advantage.
  1. Pricing and packages. Develop pricing models and packages that appeal to your target market. Consider options such as hourly, daily, weekly or monthly passes and membership plans.
  1. Marketing and partnerships. Create a strong brand identity that conveys the convenience and professionalism of your coworking and support facility. Use digital marketing, social media and local advertising to reach your target audience. Explore partnerships with local businesses or schools to expand your offerings or provide educational and extracurricular activities for children. Always involve parents in your organisational activities as well.
  1. Technology and amenities. Invest in technology infrastructure, such as high-speed internet, printers, and a booking system for workstations and childcare spaces. Offer amenities such as coffee, snacks and comfortable work areas.
  1. Financial planning. Develop a comprehensive business plan that includes your start-up costs, revenue projections, and cash flow analysis. Secure financing if needed.

You can also consider creating a COWORCAre in collaboration with caregiving institutes near a coworking or coworkation space. In this case, pay special attention to points 7 and 8 to realize economically attractive conventions and establish collaborations with neighbouring institutes to reduce the commuting time between coworking spaces and care institutions as much as possible.

Economic Aspects - CoworCare Manual

The economic environment may change depending on the current political situation. Therefore, it is important to adapt the project accordingly. In general, there are several basic economic directions and social systems in the EUSALP area, on which external financing depends.
In order to implement COWORCare sustainably and retable, it is also important not to disregard the economic aspects and to make different considerations, analysed in the full manual.

Discover the full manual: Online manual on economic aspects COWORCare


Coworking Space. A coworking space provides workplaces and infrastructure (network, printer, scanner, fax, telephone, projector, meeting rooms) for a limited period. The difference to office sharing is the mix of different professions and the lower commitment.

Coworkation. Coworkation is a portmanteau word from co (together), work and –ation (part of the term vacation) and means the combination of work and vacation in a tourist attractive place for a few days or weeks, either alone or together with colleagues, or other relatives. It usually refers to accommodation facilities that provide spaces for coworking for part of the day.

Coworcare. It is a term that merges the meaning of “care” into the word coworking and identifies coworking or coworkation spaces that also offer childcare and/or elderly-care services. The service can be offered either within the same facility or in agreement with other facilities.

Child-care. Institutions for children, such as kindergartens or other private facilities, aimed to care for and educate pre-adolescent children. On the map of Coworcare private institutions have been placed within a distance of 10km linear from a coworking, coworkation or coworcare space.

Elderly-care. Institutions for older people, self-sufficient and non-self-sufficient, with residential and welfare functions. Private institutions located within a distance of 10km linear from a coworking, coworkation or coworcare space have been included on the map of Coworcare.

Environmental Education Center. The Environmental Education Centers promote educational, information and training pathways for sustainable development by carrying out awareness-raising campaigns to disseminate good practices and facilitate local development projects for the community. The term identifies the 7 EUSALP states as public and private institutions for information and education on environmental issues; in some States, Environmental Education Centres also offer services to support parenthood.

Alpine Convention. The Alpine Convention is an international treaty signed in 1991 by the eight Alpine countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Principality of Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland) and the European Economic Community, intending to ensure a common policy for the Alpine arc, a sensitive and complex territory in which the borders are determined by natural, economic and cultural factors that rarely coincide with the boundaries of the nation-states. At the territorial level, it identifies about 5,700 mountain municipalities.

EUSALP. The Alpine Macroregional Strategy (EUSALP) is an agreement signed in 2013 by the European Union member states: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia and two non-European states, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, including the 48 autonomous regions and provinces around the Alpine chain. The Italian regions are Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

5 Types of COWORCare

The integration of childcare offerings into coworking spaces (CWS) can be implemented in various ways. The following types illustrate the range of approaches. They range from external partnerships to internal institutions to self-organised communities, with priorities varying depending on the model:

  • Type 1 “Cooperation with external parties“: In this model, the coworking space works with external daycare centres or childminders. The children are looked after within the premises of the space or in the immediate vicinity, which ensures a practical and spatial connection between the workplace and the care facility is created or used.


  • Type 2 “Childcare provided by the coworking space”: The coworking space either hires a childminder or sets up its own daycare centre within its own premises. The children are looked after directly on site, either through internal resources or in collaboration with an established provider.


  • Type 3 “Everything under one roof”: Coworking space and care options (often under the management of an external provider) are located as components under the roof of a larger area or complex. There does not have to be a direct cooperation between the space and the daycare centre, but the physical proximity allows the coworkers to use the childcare facilities.


  • Type 4 “Self-organised groups”: Parent groups or associations organise themselves independently to create childcare and coworking opportunities. The motivation follows pragmatic rather than financial aspirations, the way of working is based on collective responsibility.


  • Type 5 “Coworking in family centres”: Existing family centres, which are usually run by f.e. church sponsors, foundations or associations, offer both childcare options and coworking spaces. These offers are available for a limited time (usually only a few times a week for a few hours) and focus more on family-centred offers.
Seminar paper of the students of HafenCity University Hamburg

Start Year
End Year
Funding Body
ARPAF - Alpine Region Preparatory Funds
Slovene Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry – Institute of Agriculture and Forestry Maribor
Subscribe to our newsletter