Event parenting (v) – the ability to attend an event, with your child or children, either in a Free Range* approach, or by use of on site childcare facilities. (* thanks Alice 😉
Well pheeeewweeeyyyy! My post about taking Nemi to a tech conference opened up the debate about childcare at events, and hurrah! That’s exactly what I hoped would happen, but didn’t actually expect. Great! Thank you everyone for your comments – even the ones I didn’t agree with, this is exactly what we need to start moving forward.
One thing that raised some eyebrows was the tone of those opposed to it. Although I value the opinions, I think the delivery could do with being a bit more considered (try not to make this personal, or insulting) – I want to have a discussion with everyone, and those who are against it – that’s really useful – let me work with you to produce a solution (or set of solutions) that bear you in mind, and make the next steps along this path ones that include your views. I want to win you over. I want to make this something that works for you too.
With that in mind, if anyone who is opposed to the idea (for whatever personal, or greater good) reasons, please do keep commenting, but if you could keep it as constructive as possible, you’re much more likely to get taken seriously and have your views taken onboard by everyone.
Ok, that all said and done, let’s see what yesterday brought up:
- The amount of blog post retweets and comments showed there is a large interest in this area
- A lot of both Mums and Dads contacted me personally to say childcare facilities at events would be of benefit to them
- Those against the idea expressed noise (specifically crying) as their main issue, and bearing related extra costs as another – we need to ensure these views are taken in to account with our solutions
- There are companies doing event childcare (Rachel found one for weddings) already – can we tap into it? (thanks @racheldorman)
- There are tech events already providing childcare facilities (BlogHer, reboot, Geekyoto and more)
Next steps then:
I have created a wiki that any interested parties can view, or contribute to (contribution will require approved membership) – if you’re interested in contributing please sign up. If you’re interested in watching this progress, please bookmark 🙂
I will endeavour to write up everything that’s come to pass so far, and start adding topics with:
- best practice examples
- potential childcare providers and their costs and details
- potential pit falls (and hopefully – how to negotiate them)
- child friendly events listings (and hopefully, reviews!)
- .. and more as I think of it.
We can then use this information as event organisers, parents, interested parties to break down any perceived barriers and hopefully work through ways of event parenting.
[ NB Bear with me, as a full time Mum and part time consultant, it may take me a week or so to get this going. Thanks for your understanding. ]
I would also like to start an email list for contributors to post details of child friendly events they hear of. If you’d like to join please email me – thayer AT thayerprime dot com. This will be a pre-moderated list, and your details will only ever be seen by me (I promise never to pass them on, or use them for anything other than signing you up to this list). I would like this list to be global, so please do join in wherever you are.
Ok, I think that covers moving forward – if you have any other suggestions or comments, I would love to hear them. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this idea, I hope to see some of you over on the wiki.