Parents’ Office at MPE
For more than half a year, since May 2013, parents with young children benefit from a new service at MPE: the Institute now offers a parents office which provides a laptop workplace for parents, and toys as well as a bed and a changing table for children. The parents office is open to all MPE employees and IMPRS students with children, who need the room once in a while, e.g. on a day when their usual childcare is unavailable. It is located next to the print shop, in room 2C7.
The installation for the parents’ room was funded by the endowment that Agata Karska received with the L'Oréal for Women in Science Prize 2012. The aim of this prize is to raise the level of excellence in science by improving the working conditions of employees in general and supporting women and families in particular. Agata Karska and Heike Modest started to plan the parents’ office in autumn 2012 and received much help from the administration and the MPE workshops for this quite unusual project. The old room got a new coat of paint and new flooring, the heater was hidden (and made safe) behind wood panelling, and new wires had to be installed so that it can now be used just like a regular office – where your child will feel comfortable as well, with suitable furniture, carpets and, of course, many toys.
Additional improvements for parents and kids were installed also elsewhere in the MPE buildings: A wash-basin for smaller kids was installed in the restroom close to the new parents’ office and in the restrooms close to the main seminar room a second changing table is now available. And the canteen received two high-chairs that can now be borrowed during lunch time.
As the previous months have shown, the office is frequently used and both children and parents are very happy with it. There have also been occasional requests from scientists at MPA and external users such as attendants of the galaxy/halo conference at MPA this summer.