Perhaps many adults would argue that the family benefits to a greater degree by parents being able undertake other activities while their children are in educational settings (such as study, work etc). This may be true for some, but for others, there is the difficulty that adult learning institutions and workplaces may not be fully supportive of wider family needs that often exist such as absence to care for a sick child, flexible starting times, child's presence, or absences for parent help with outings etc. These ocurrances, whilst supportive of the child's learning, appear to detract from the adult learning environment and within that context I would include the workplace.
So, is there an alternative? Yes, a fine example already exists with the Playcentre Association in New Zealand. In this environment, parents can gain early childhood qualifications whilst still being directly involved with their children's care and learning. They can gain transferrable experience in running meetings and in planning, teamwork and leadership. They have the opportunity to coach and guide other parents and to recieve the same. The problem is that ECE education and experience is not what every parent is looking for.
However, what Playcentre does so well, is to demonstrate just what parents can achieve whilst still being in the company of their children and at the same time providing a great social and learning environment. This is a model that could be imitated and then broadened to include more variety of adult learning opportunities, whilst including children so that the pattern of modelling/imitation is carried forth. My plan would be to further study the Playcentre model, make a minature "copy" of it, and then slowly adapt it by adding new branches of learning as the needs of parents and children emerge.
Ultimately, I would like to see new careers, new businesses, new products, new services and so on as the main products of this new kind of learning environment. These should better reflect the future needs of society owing to having developed in the presence of children, society's future leaders. And better still, children will have observed and participated in the process and tried out their new skills and ideas through their play with one another. This will better prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead.