DebConf Documentation/Children/Childcare

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[edit] Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines for organising childcare at DebConf.

  • Have a dedicated space, apart from the rest of DebConf activities, but in the same building.
  • Outfit the room with a generous amount of toys, books, coloring pens & paper, etc.
  • Floor mats (the foam variety) are great to have.
  • Think of having some activities for older kids, such as board games or video games.
  • There could also be DebConf babies attending, so think of having a space for moms to comfortably nurse or pump breastmilk (if requested).
  • The childcare workers don't need to be DebConf-associated people, but they need to be vetted in some way or another.
  • Keep the workers happy, bring them coffee and snacks.
  • Offer the service for free, if the budget allows.
    • This eliminates the need to sign-up (or sign-in) and is one less thing to worry about for parents.

[edit] Accommodation

When planning DebConf accommodation, it's always a good idea to keep in mind the needs of parents and kids. Shared accommodation isn't a feasible option for families because they usually need more space and young children often wake up and night, disturbing others. It's also good if the accommodation is in the same building as the rest of DebConf, because children often needs to take naps, and sometimes even several times per day.

[edit] Arrangements in Past DebConfs

[edit] dc14 (Portland)

  • Portland State University has their own kindergarten in Campus. It allowed external kids to be accommodated if there were places available. One kid went there.
  • Cost was 12 USD/hour fully paid by parents.
  • Parents have to provide diapers and food.
  • Professional babysitter rates in Portland at this time were 15-20 USD for 1-2 children.

[edit] dc15 (Heidelberg)

  • 6 children were in childcare by 2 caretakers.
  • Caretakers weren't professionals parents were asked to stay around in-campus in case of emergency.
  • Children ages were between 26 months and 45 months.
  • Price was 5 EUR/h/children paid by attendees.
  • Children were 6 hours in childcare per day (3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon after napping)
  • There were no childcare during the evening.
  • Children were with their parents for meals
  • DebConf provided material accommodation and food on-site for caretakers.
  • There was a Teckids program during DC15. This took place during a single afternoon and it was for older children +9 years old. It wasn't considered childcare.

[edit] dc16 (Cape Town)

There was no childcare this year (nor children attending)

[edit] dc17 (Montreal)

  • Childcare for DebConf17 was provided in partnership with the Montreal Childcare Collective non-profit.
  • It was organized as a drop-in service, where parents could either drop off their kids or simply use the space along with the children.
  • The space was a dedicated classroom furnished with floor mats, toys, books and coloring materials.
  • DebConf borrowed several toys and books from a (very generous) nearby daycare centre.
  • There were three kids signed up in advance for childcare, but 6 ended up attending at various times.
    • Ages ranged from 3 months to 4 1/2 years.
  • There was one worker scheduled for every shift (morning and afternoon) with one extra DebConf person on standby to help (ended up doing nearly half the shifts).
    • Shift hours were from 10:00 AM to 13:00, and from 14:30 to 18:00
  • The childcare area was closed during meals and workers were given free meal cards.
  • Workers were brought coffee and snacks during busy afternoon shifts.
  • The workers were paid 18 CAD per hour.
  • Total budget for childcare was 2000 CAD.
  • The service was provided to parents for free.
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