By Christy Adkinson, SC17 Inclusivity Committee Member from Cray Inc.
Back in 1995, I first experienced what it was like to try to balance work and family on the road. Thinking I was definitely one of those “super moms” I decided it wouldn’t be that difficult.
So I lugged my five-week-old baby, all of her associated paraphernalia, and my husband to the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco. In hindsight, it really wasn’t very practical.
Then there was the hassle. Baby on the lap on the plane, lugging a car seat on and off the plane, managing a stroller, and the biggest one? Running back-and-forth between the convention center and the hotel, every two hours, to feed/nurse the baby
Fast forward to 2016 and the SC conference. My how things have changed. Now with two adult children who I hope will have babies of their own someday, I look at how that work-life balance may be quite different for them. I’m proud to be part of a conference that has made great strides in creating an environment which encourages the participation of men and women with young families.
At SC16, for the first time, the conference offered childcare services at the convention center. By partnering with Kiddie Corp, a national firm specifically formed to provide convention center childcare services (30+ years in business), the SC conference provided on-site childcare options for children from six months to 12 years of age. The hope was that this service might expand conference participation to parents that might not be able to travel without their children. The feedback from families who used the service last year was tremendously positive and several indicated that this was the only way they were able to attend.
Due to the overall positive response, we will again offer the service in Denver at SC17 and have expanded the capacity. Childcare services will be available at the convention center starting on Sunday, Nov 12th through Thursday, November 17th. The cost per child is very affordable (starting at only $3.00 per hour for student parents) and is open to student volunteers, attendees, and exhibitors.
But back to my case 22 years ago — my child wouldn’t have been old enough to use the childcare services provided. Luckily, the SC conference has also kept this in mind. Except for the exhibition floor where insurance liabilities enforce varying age requirements for access, children ages six months and under may be brought into conference sessions, subject to the terms and conditions of the SC17 Child Policy which aims to ensure the safety of all attendees (including those under six months old!). In addition, there will be a parenting room – a quiet room with soft furnishings, private alcoves for feeding, nursing or pumping, refrigeration and storage, and diaper changing accommodations.
We are hopeful that the addition of a documented policy along with the availability of childcare services and a parenting room provides the possibility for more parents to participate in the SC experience where they might otherwise find it difficult or impossible.
For more details and specific guidance on bringing children to SC17, click here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: All children using the SC17 childcare services must be registered in advance by a parent or legal guardian at this website. Space is limited and the deadline to sign-up is Friday, Oct 13, 2017.