CHI 2018 values that many attendees are parents and caregivers. We listened to parents’ needs and constraints voiced during a survey last fall, and decided to support attendees with families this year through multiple options, including a child pass, on-site childcare services, and a nursing room. We hope this flexibility enables broad attendance to CHI 2018 by attendees with families.
To provide access to the conference centre and to make your kids feel welcome at CHI 2018, we are including a $10 “child pass” for kids 0-18 to accompany their parents. This pass provides access to the convention centre and to the reception on Monday for children who are accompanied by their parents. All children that will be coming on site to the conference will require this pass, including those using childcare. We will use the child pass registrations to communicate information to parents. Attendees can register for a child pass on the CHI Registration site when they register themselves, or at any time thereafter, including on-site.
The CHI 2018 conference chairs and family chairs are happy to support on-site childcare at this year’s event. The program is partially subsidized by the conference and its generous sponsors.
Childcare is provided by KiddieCorp, a professional on-site childcare service for conferences and events, which has worked with ACM and SIGCHI in the past (e.g., at CHI2016 in San Jose, CHI2001 in Seattle). Children will have a large common room with toys, snacks, and on-site activities such as crafts, construction toys, tiny tikes toys, books. The KiddieCorp team members are uniformed, qualified, screened, and experienced employees who have completed the KiddieCorp training program. KiddieCorp offers childcare in English.
Childcare will be available from Monday, April 23 through Thursday, April 26 at the cost of up to $10/hour USD (the cost is partially contingent on the number of sign-ups but we can guarantee that the price will not exceed $10/hr). The hours of care will be during technical sessions, but not during the lunch break or evening networking events. Reservation of childcare spots will be on a first-come first-served basis, and payment at the time of registration for childcare is required. Limited on-site registration for childcare may be available. Childcare is available for children 6 months to 12 years old.
The CHI 2018 registration page will be used to indicate interest for childcare. KiddieCorp will contact attendees to confirm childcare registration and set up payment.
Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we are unable to provide childcare during the weekend.
CHI 2018 will provide a quiet, private nursing room for feeding and changing. The nursing room will have a changing table, nursing chairs, a play mat, a kettle, and a fridge to store milk.
Other Childcare Options
Attendees who are looking for babysitting services beyond what CHI 2018 can offer (e.g., for evening events) can inquire with a local nanny service called Service des Génies. They work with qualified college students for on-site babysitting services. While this service is not sponsored by CHI 2018, Service des Génies works with international hotel chains in Montreal to offer such services. Contact Catherine Feuillarade at email@example.com for information. There also may be attendees interested in doing babysitting swaps – please check the HCI parent Facebook group for more information.
We will be updating the childcare page on the CHI 2018 website with additional details (e.g., location of nursing room, map of washrooms with changing tables) as we approach CHI 2018, so look back often for new information!
The decisions regarding childcare are informed by: the results of a background survey soliciting feedback about family support and childcare options at CHI 2018 launched in October 2017, email discussions with conference chairs with experience providing childcare services, and ACM SIGCHI’s own experiences providing childcare (there have been many past efforts). Below, we summarize the results of our survey, which was designed to investigate various childcare and child-friendly options to cater to the needs of our community.
We advertised the survey on social media (e.g., Facebook’s CHI Meta and CHI Women pages, the CHI Twitter account) and via mailing lists (e.g., CHI announcements). It was available for a month: Oct 4, 2017 to Nov 7, 2017 and contained a mixture of open- and closed-form questions. In all, we had 95 respondents, including 66 faculty (69.5%), 17 students (17.0%), and 10 people from industry (10.5%). Of these, 56 (58.9%) reported that they would be more likely to attend CHI 2018 if childcare services were offered and 66 (69.5%) indicated that they would be likely or very likely to use childcare services at CHI 2018.
When asked about which childcare services would be of most interest (a select-all-that-apply closed-form question), 73 respondents (92.4%) selected on-site childcare at the conference centre (similar to CHI2016 in San Jose) followed by on-site shared nannies at the conference centre (62%) and independent babysitters/nannies (38%). When asked about how much childcare was needed on a daily basis, the top three responses were: over multiple talk sessions (49.4%), a full day (31.7%), and the full day and evening (8.9%). As an international conference, we did not want to presume that English would meet every child’s need. Five respondents stated that they would prefer a different spoken language if possible (3 German, 1 Korean, 1 French).
CHI 2018 Family Chairs
Jon Froehlich, University of Washington, USA
Audrey Girouard, Carleton University, Canada
Regan Mandryk, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Mark Hancock, University of Waterloo, Canada