Zoe’s Third Door Journey
I started using Third Door (Workhub & Nursery) when my little boy Jackson was about 7 months old. My contract at the BBC had finished just before I went on maternity leave and I was contemplating whether to go back to work at all when a friend sent me a really interesting link to a freelance contract for 6 months. Living in Southwest London I had heard of people registering their kids for our local nurseries after their 12 week scans and I knew that with a freelance part-time contract I didn’t want an 8am-6pm 5-day a week nursery place, or a nanny or childminder. I just wanted to be able to work a couple of days a week and to have flexible, affordable and most importantly, excellent childcare when I needed it. Our families are in Ireland so we didn’t have any extended family to call on and it all seemed like a bit of a pipe-dream… but I did remember someone mentioning “something”-Door and starting googling, this dream facility was literally on my doorstep… talk about meant to be!
Two years on and my 6 month part-time freelance contract turned into a two year contract and I have also secured freelance work for the next two years as well as picking up lots of other interesting pieces of work along the way. Jackson is so happy at Third Door, it’s a small nursery where all age-groups are in together and I’ve really seen him flourish from a little baby who could just about sit up to hanging out with the “bigger” kids in the book corner now that he can talk to them! Quite often people mistake it for being a creche – like something you’d use for an hour when you go for a swim, but it’s much more than that. It’s an Ofsted registered nursery, Jackson has had the same assigned key-worker for two years and we have regular catch-ups on his progress. They have all sorts of fantastic add-on classes included in the price, including Baby Yoga on a Wednesday morning, Jackson’s downward dog is nearly better than mine!!
The best thing about Third Door for me as a freelancer is that I can choose when I use my package of hours for the Workhub and Nursery – I don’t have to commit to certain days and times every week, I just have to commit to a package of hours per month and there are a huge range of packages to choose from. When I’m busy I can be on 120 hours a month and when it’s quiet, or I’m going on holidays I can drop down to 30 hours a month. So I’m only paying for what I using. Generally I am in the Workhub when Jackson is in nursery as I only use it when I need to work. But often I have meetings in Central London and I can of course leave him in nursery and head off to my meetings.
It’s such a clever concept, I tell parents in cities and towns across the UK and Ireland about it and everyone comments on what a brilliant idea it is and longs for something similar near them. I just wouldn’t have been able to take on the work that I have over the past few years without Third Door, paying for a regular nursery place wouldn’t have worked for me with my freelance hours and fluctuating income. I absolutely love working in the Workhub too as I had always worked in an office and it gives me a real sense of actually being at work, making an effort to get out of my PJs and to really get my head down without the distractions of being at home.