✅ Offer financial support for childcare.
Build it into your budget.
Link it to sponsorships, or university partners, or make part of the registration fee from all attendees go towards providing childcare support as service.
Add an option to the registration, e.g.: “Donate $20 to help with childcare costs.”
Collect the data on the registration form. How many people would make use of childcare services or grants?
In general, the two major options are either to 1) award childcare grants (people decide how to spend it, e.g. on their home babysitter) or 2) provide on-site services.
Based on our research, grants to cover childcare costs seem to be more popular with attendees. (On-site childcare services can be costly for attendees because of additional travel costs for bringing children along.)
You might survey your participants to determine their preference for grants vs. on-site childcare services.
Be sure to consider issues like whether grant recipients will need to submit an invoice or receipt from someone (the childcare provider) with a Tax ID.
- For those who do bring kids to the event/conference: - Provide cost-free access to the conference center/venue for caregivers/babysitters - This allows caregivers to come to the conference for e.g. infant hand-offs (for nursing, for example) as opposed to parents losing additional time walking back to hotel rooms.
There are companies that provide childcare at conferences. While NumFOCUS makes no specific endorsements, we did find these companies in our research who are providing event-based childcare:
Another possibility is to organize a “parallel” conference for older children