The mobile nursery is providing Care Inspectorate (Wales) registered childcare to the children of cast and crew members working on the production, thus enabling parents to cope with the logistical issues that shooting on location present.
This follows WonderWorks’ ‘Keeping Families in Film’ campaign, which was launched in April to create greater equality within the industry through tackling the issue of childcare.
Netflix is an known advocate for parents in the industry, demonstrated through initiatives such as its 2020 ‘Motherhood in Focus’ U.S. campaign.
The mobile nursery is a “Tardis” — a reference to the time machine and spacecraft in cult British TV series “Doctor Who” — say The WonderWorks’ founders, actor Charlotte Riley and business partner Mark Radcliffe. The nursery is located in a double decker bus complete with on board dining room, toilets, library, office, sleeping area and fully stocked kitchen preparing fresh meals up to four times per day. It has space to accommodate a maximum of 19 children at a time, from birth to 5-years-old on a full-time basis, as well as including children up to 16-years-old outside of school term time.
The Wales set for “Havoc” also has an enclosed garden with water play, activity zones and a chill-out area, as well as a ‘double digits zone’ where older children can relax, read a book or do some pottery. The unit also offers minimal impact to the environment, requiring no heavy construction, plumbing or foundation works to be completed.
Riley said: “We are beyond excited that our beautiful mobile nursery has taken on its first job on ‘Havoc.’ Prior to now, on set childcare has been more informal and offered on an ad hoc basis by willing productions, so having fully qualified, Care Inspectorate Wales/Ofsted [the U.K. Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills] registered staff and a first-rate home from home for children on set is something we’re incredibly proud to be able to offer.”
“We hope this will be the start of many studios like Netflix recognising the need for this service in order to keep talented people in the industry once they start a family,” Riley added. “Putting a line in the budget for childcare is something we believe should be a necessity, not a luxury.”
Radcliffe said: “Just as Warner Bros. put their faith in us to create our first, permanent facility at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, we are hugely grateful that Netflix has been forward thinking and engaged us to provide a similar level of care for on location shoots. This is another step on our journey to make the industry more inclusive, and we are looking forward to seeing what a difference the mobile nursery will make to the parents – and children – of those working on ‘Havoc.’”
A recent childcare survey by Production Guild revealed that 85% of respondents knew someone who had left the industry because of a lack of childcare. The WonderWorks aims to help redress this issue.