Childcare at BarCamp Portland 4: We need your feedback!

Kate participates in play time for the Big Steps Childcare Campaign

Previous BarCamp participants have often requested childcare. For the first time, we’re seriously looking at what it would take to provide this during the event.

Were we to provide childcare, our hope would be to make it the best possible experience for parents and their kids who wish to attend BarCamp Portland 4, and we need your input.

So far, we’ve researched two options for childcare:

  1. On-site. Our prospective downtown venue has a room that we can use for child care. We would either need to hire a service (see below) or staff it (in shifts) ourselves.
  2. Off-site, using a licensed childcare provider. We already have a quote from WeVillage, located in the Pearl District (very close to our venue).

Hiring a service is completely dependent on having the sponsor funds to do so.

What we need to know from you is the following:

  1. That childcare is important to you.
  2. What kind of experience is desired from people staffing the child care?
    • Parents themselves only?
    • Child care professionals?
    • Is first-aid/cpr certification a requirement?
    • What would BarCamp need to supply, if anything? Kid-friendly food, toys, baby wipes, etc?
  3. Would you be willing to volunteer for a childcare shift?
  4. Do you know anyone who would like to sponsor childcare?

Please feel free to take on this discussion with your own input & ideas, in the comment section below, or by emailing christiekoehler at gmail dot com.

Update: We need to hear from you by Monday, Oct 4th in order to make the necessary child care arrangements, so be prompt with your feedback.

Update 10/4: As of today, no one has RSVP’d and indicated they would like childcare at Barcamp Portland 4. Given our limited planning and sponsorship resources, we’re going to discontinue our efforts to provide childcare for at year’s event. We’ll try again next year.

Also, if you’re planning on attending BarCamp Portland, don’t forget to RSVP and on the RSVP be sure let us know that you’d like childcare.

2 thoughts on “Childcare at BarCamp Portland 4: We need your feedback!

  1. What we need to know from you is the following:

    That childcare is important to you.
    It’s a great nice-to-have.

    What kind of experience is desired from people staffing the child care?
    Should like kids, know how to organize kids’ activities, patience.

    Parents themselves only?
    That could work.

    Child care professionals?
    That would be better.

    Is first-aid/cpr certification a requirement?
    No, but would be great to have.

    What would BarCamp need to supply, if anything? Kid-friendly food, toys, baby wipes, etc?
    Drawing materials, legos, etc. Parents can be told to bring things with the understanding that toys will be shared.

    Would you be willing to volunteer for a childcare shift?
    If I go, yes.

    Do you know anyone who would like to sponsor childcare?
    Another thing that we could do is just put in $5 per hour and pay the sitter directly.

  2. This is something I looked into a couple of times for the BarCamps that happened at CubeSpace. And here are my thoughts on the options based on my research and experience.

    1. Do NOT have volunteers run childcare. There are now laws requiring background checks for everyone who offers childcare (even for a single event). If you don’t and anything happens lawyers will go after the personal assets of everyone involved.

    2. Licensed childcare provider – If you are going to get childcare, this is the way to go. The questions you want answered in writing (for the above reasons) are:

    * Is the provider licensed to provide offsite care?
    * Who is responsible for carrying liability insurance? BarCamp? The provider? The funder?
    * Check if the venue has any requirements for childcare offered in their space. If they do, then clarify who is responsible for what specific requirements.

    Last year we had a deal with a drop-in childcare provider over by Lloyd Center. The parents who used it appreciated us having identified a location and even gotten them a bit of a price break. And, it completely removed CubeSpace from any of the potential issues listed above. I am pretty sure (and you do want to check this with a lawyer) that you can have a sponsor pay for childcare at a licensed facility without them taking on any liability. It would just be like a sponsor paying for any other service.

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