Welcoming staff children at Kroka
The Kroka staff community embraces families of all shapes and sizes! We support all adults who have made a commitment to parenting children. Our campus farm and facilities are open to staff children at all times, to visit, play, and join in many of the activities that happen on campus.
How can the responsibilities of parenting be integrated with working at Kroka?
For employees who have a family member or other arrangements outside of Kroka as the primary (5 days per week) full-time caregiver:
We realize that occasionally you may have special needs in dealing with an emergency such as a child or care-giver illness, snow-days, school vacation weeks. We support your needs to have a flexible schedule! If you need to bring your child to work during an emergency, please see the guidelines below about what Kroka can or cannot offer.
For employees who are the primary full-time everyday caregiver of a child:
Our experience has been that it is not possible to work full-time at Kroka while also being a full-time primary everyday caregiver for young children. We will not offer full-time employment contracts to full-time primary everyday caregivers of children.
EXCEPTIONS: It may be possible for staff to be employed full-time at Kroka while also having custody and care of their children on campus if:
- children are legal Kroka employees (apprentices, facilities, farm support etc) <or>
- children are enrolled in Kroka programs <or>
- children are on expedition with one or both parents
Also, note that many parents who are full-time primary caregivers for young children have chosen to come to Kroka as volunteers, which allows parents and children to enjoy the campus and help with daily activities at a flexible low-stress pace.
We will not hire both parents as full-time employees while also sharing full-time childcare responsibilities. Arrangements for part-time additional childcare during the week must be made by hiring paid childcare support or finding off-campus childcare options.
For employees who have some caregiving responsibilities during the workweek, and may need to occasionally or regularly bring a child with them to the workplace:
This is what Kroka can offer you:
- some flexibility in your work schedule
- a variety of additional interesting campus care tasks that may be able to be shared with children
- space for children to rest, work, or play near you within our farmhouse and barn
- space for children to play unattended outdoors
- space for children to join in Kroka meals (at no additional cost)
- occasionally joining in age-appropriate program activities being taught on-campus
This is what Kroka cannot offer or permit:
- the option to work fewer quality hours than other staff while still receiving the same compensation (it is expected that if you are not able to give full undivided attention to your work, that you will compensate by reducing your paid hours or finding other times of day to make up the lost work.)
- Kroka organized on-campus childcare (we hope to offer this someday in the future, however for now you may need to rely upon other local options)
- asking for childcare favors from other working staff during the workday (“could you do me a favor and watch Betsy for a minute while I take this phone call…”)
- soliciting any enrolled Kroka students or contracted Kroka employees for any paid or volunteer childcare work (exception: it is fine to solicit, negotiate, and trade child care with Kroka employees who are already caring for their own children, either on or off-campus)
- leaving children (under age 18) unattended on campus. (All children under the age of 18 on the Kroka campus must be either contracted volunteers or employees, registered program participants, or under the direct care and supervision of an adult.)
In addition, some specific work tasks are NOT compatible with childcare responsibilities:
- conducting meetings with people outside of Kroka
- using power tools in a workshop, chainsawing, tractor use
- cooking over a hot stove or fire
- teaching accredited academic classes to students
- student personal sharing circles (for example, morning or evening meetings)
- student code of conduct or student counseling or mentoring meetings
- risk management meetings, pre-program or post-program meetings
(exceptions may be made on a case by case basis if a child is enrolled within a program while you are an instructor on that program.)
In addition, some specific places on campus are NOT safe to have young children present while work is taking place:
- upstairs office during business hours (due to the need to have confidential conversations)
- farmhouse kitchen during meal preparation (due to fast-paced work around hot stoves and pots)
- walk-in coolers (due to safety and food sanitation)
- workshop (when power tools are in use)
Can I bring my child on a program or expedition with me? This is entirely on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the course director, program director, and executive director.
Can my child be a volunteer? See our volunteer policies on our website.
Can my child be a paid employee? Staff children may receive special consideration for being hired as part-time employees. This employment is at the discretion of the facilities manager, and must be consistent with all child labor laws and all other internships and apprenticeships being offered to other young students at that time.
Are there local childcare options? Here are two links to high-quality local childcare options: