New Biz is Co-working Space with Montessori-Inspired Playspace for Children

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Hopscotch Labs recently opened in Jamaica Plain, and while it's unlikely that you'll find a game of hopscotch or labs, you will find a unique business model.

Hopscotch Labs opened on Brookley Road in October 2020. (Image courtesy of Hopscotch Labs)

Co-founder and Jamaica Plain resident Anna Raborn answered questions about this new business that opened on Brookley Road in October.
Q: What is Hopscotch Labs?
Raborn: Hopscotch Labs is a co-working community that combines the amenities of an office with a reliable, social-distanced, Montessori-inspired playspace for children. We believe that grownups shouldn't have to choose between raising a family and doing meaningful work. During the pandemic, specifically, we hope we can alleviate many pain points for caregivers around balancing work and family.
Q: Why did you open in Jamaica Plain?
Raborn: Both Debbie Lee (my co-founder) and I live in JP and have, for many years, and know the landscape. We know how many families live here. We also know there are many great options for daycare in this neighborhood, but there is always a need for different, flexible, cost-effective options for families whose needs may have changed during the pandemic.

Hopscotch Labs is part co-working space, part Montessori-inspired playspace. (Image courtesy of Hopscotch Labs)

Q: Why is it called Hopscotch Labs?
Raborn: We wanted to evoke two different elements, one for kids and one for grownups. Hopscotch clearly harks back to the carefree days of your youth, being outside, maybe on a summer day -- playing a leisurely (or maybe competitive) game. It was important to us that we represented both the work and play sides of the business.
Q: Are there laboratories? Is there hopscotch?
Raborn: Ha! Maybe hopscotch, but no laboratories for us. However, we can offer you a workspace (desk, chair, coffee, snacks, etc.) and a guided play session for kiddos.
Q: How much space is there for people?
Raborn: Right now, we are incubating within the Commonwealth Circus Center space and allowing for physical distancing; we are limiting capacity to only 5 families at a time. We use the entire space for only five families, which you can imagine is a lot of space for physical distancing!
Q: What makes Hopscotch Labs different from other co-working spaces?
Raborn: We differentiate ourselves in two ways:
  • Children are a major part of our community -- 0ur playspace is Montessori-inspired, and our caregivers have backgrounds in education or caregiving. We (clearly) want you to find a balance between your work and family life. We hope that by providing a flexible alternative to the daycare system, we can be one solution to the massive childcare problems in our area.
  • We want to welcome all types of "work" into our workspace. Whether you have a demanding full-time job, or you are a stay-at-home parent who needs to pay bills or work on a side project -- you are welcome in our space. We hope to create a community that values all work as important and worthy of deep, meaningful effort.

Parents can spend time with their kids while working. (Image courtesy Hopscotch Labs)

Q: How much does it cost? What are the prices for customers using the playspace vs. not using it?
Raborn: We are currently priced at $20 per hour for a grownup/child pair to use the space.
Q: Can you use the playspace without being a client?
Raborn: Yes! Right now, we are completely drop-in. No membership is required.
Q: What else would you like people to know about Hopscotch Labs?
Raborn: We are excited to create opportunities to collaborate with other local businesses and offer shared programming and goods! Currently, we have coffee provided by our friends at The Video Underground, and are working with the Children's Music Center of JP to bring music events to Hopscotch Labs.
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