Facebook Getting Fancy New On-Premise Doggy Daycare, But Jack Squat For Kids

dogs in strollerFacebook is embracing alternative families like no other. The company that gave us Olympic style procrastination is reportedly erecting a  $120 million, 394-unit housing compound on their premises so that employees have a super happy commute (reminds me of college). But among all the fancy amenities, including a sports bar, laundry and dry cleaning facilities, hairstylists, woodworking classes, on-site bike repair, there is zero daycare. At least for your child. But there is daycare for your dog.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is going straight undergrad with their corporate environment:

At Facebook, the company’s headquarters are supposed to feel more like a college campus than an office.

The 56-acre parcel, which it moved to in December 2011, will soon be connected to a new wing, designed by architect Frank Gehry. There is a winding asphalt road that runs through the center of campus where employees glide through on bicycles.

Throughout the workday, programmers bond with advertising product developers over free lattes or ice cream, walking around the sculptures and shops, or lounging on sun-drenched grassy knolls and park benches.

There is a company game day, where employees run the three-legged race. At night, employees watch movies on a giant, stadium-style outdoor television screen that looms over an open plaza in the middle of campus.

Lauryn Hale, a Harvard Business School graduate who was hired by Facebook in 2010, said all the amenities take some stress out of the daily job and allow her to think more creatively.

Considering that not everyone will have children, a doggy daycare does exhibit some healthy consideration for the one in five American (women) who are passing on kids (assuming those same people even like animals). But the fact that one of our most prominent companies didn’t factor in care for kids between free lattes and doggy daycare does speak to our culture’s inability to prioritize affordable childcare. But, you know, enjoy that free ice cream!

(photo: Joel Abroad)

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  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I noticed that as well when I read an article about it yesterday. I think kids are just seen as burdensome (at least in my experience with my employers) and are discouraged if you want to keep your job or advance. I think FB is sending out a message: have dogs instead of kids.

    • DGZSchmidt

      That seems pretty harsh. From what I’ve heard, Facebook gives a pretty amazing maternity (and paternity!) leave. I know a lot of new fathers who work there who say that their leave was almost TOO long.

  • TngldBlue

    I think this was purposefully done to attract the young, fresh out of college, burden less (except for those college loans) whippersnappers and send an obvious signal to the rest of us: those with children or those who desire a bedtime before 2am need not apply.

    • Koa_Beck

      Yeah, definitely seems like a very youth-driven atmosphere.

    • Katia

      I know someone in his late
      30s working there! His wife is very happy in their large house/garden with their kids. And they can easily afford babysitters for leisure time (on 1 income) because Facebook pays quite well. I see this as an option to generate interest. Also probably a pet project to show their innovation ? Just my impression. Maybe they will add a child’s are facility if there is demand, or maybe the people with families aren’t interested in living there. Do most parents want their kids near free icecream? Is it even organic?

  • Shelly Lloyd

    Does anyone else find it a bit creepy that your employer will want you to live on campus? Even if my employer offered free child care would I consent to live under their thumb where they can monitor all your comings and goings and what is happening in your life outside of work.

    • AE Vorro

      That’s pretty much how all the big tech companies do it here. Google employees get free food whenever, dry cleaning on the premises, stuff like that. It seems to be the dominant culture.

  • oh phooey

    Having a doggy-daycare does not equate hatin’ on kiddos. Just lovin’ on pups. Two completely different subjects. Plus a pup won’t ask a million questions while you enjoy your free latte :)

    • Katia

      Your viewpoint isn’t angry enough!;) it has to be one or the other ! How sexist that there is dog care before Child care! This company is not feminist enough!

    • http://www.motherintune.com/ Ekanem Ebinne

      The last time I checked, children come in both sexes, and so do parents. It’s a universal concern when we fail to cooperate in making sure all members of society are well cared for and attended to while workers are at work. Even a person like you who finds passionate concern for women adn children risible and overwrought might yet care about how worker productivity and business profit increase when workers take “stress out of the daily job” and “think more creatively”… benefits of affordable and accessible doggy AND childcare, no?

  • Nichole

    I think there is a bit of an unattainable precedent being set by companies like facebook and apple, they a great jobs if you can get them, but the reality is that most won’t. However those standards are starting to become what some of the younger generation just entering the work force expect. My friend works in the hiring and training dept of a large fairly well known company and the stories he has are incredible. He has been asked several different times what kind of meal plan they provide, if they have a company gym, and what “group activities” the company sponsors. He has remarked multiple times that new hires are looking to keep the “college experience” going after they graduate. That is exactly what it seems like many of these companies are doing. The trade off is 24 hour access.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Amen! I read this and I thought, “Holy shit! I picked the wrong field!” It sure says a lot about the cool stuff they have… do they actually do any work? Looks like a lot of fun to me.

  • wonderstruck

    I think this is simply a matter of liability – Slate had a good article about it, but basically there are a LOT more requirements to run a daycare, particularly in California, than to run a doggy daycare or give out ice cream.

  • taramorris
  • Boots

    To be honest, if you have kids would you want to be living in what is essentially an on call unit on the grounds? It may be fine for those with fewer commitments (ie. Recent graduates), but more established workers would probably prefer their own space, regardless of the ice cream & latte situation.

  • Chrissy

    I wonder if it’s a demand type situation. I’ll be real, I’m too lazy to look into it, but if the average Facebook worker is a traditional-aged, recent college graduate, the demand for childcare may be fairly low. People applying for Facebook jobs might by and large be single and childfree (or childless, could go either way). If parents are the outliers, it sort of makes sense that they’d work on a doggy-daycare first. If the number of parents paying for off-site childcare is equal to or greater than the number of employees who aren’t, then I’m a lot more offended.