Family Friendly Professional Organizations

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Family Friendly Professional Organizations
6
Tue, 05-21-2013 - 7:20pm

We hear quite a bit about family friendly employers, companies, etc.  But what about the related professional organizations - the societies and councils, etc that provide professional development, training and education to today's workforce?

My national professional organization - the National Council for University Research Administrators - has instituted a new offering at our annual national meeting to encourage more working parents to attend, and to be sensitive to the needs of parents with young children.  They are offering "Camp NCURA" - professional daycare in the form of a camp - for all 2.5 days of the conference. It will be co-located at the hotel with the conference and will be open to children 6 months to 12 years old.  Age-appropriate activities, professional, licensed supervision, play areas, meals and snacks will all be provided.  To make it even better, the cost is only $40 for each kid for the entire 2.5 day period.   They are also offering additional evening hours for an additional fee.

While I don't have kids in that age range - and probably wouldn't want to shell out for a bigger/additional hotel room and flights to DC if I did - I'm thoroughly impressed.  This will enable many parents to attend the conference that can't (or won't) be away from their kids for 3-4 days.  I would imagine it will be particularly appealing to single parents. I'll be very interested to see what kind of attendance they have at the "camp".

I don't know if I have a related debate question in particular, just thought this might provoke some interesting discussion.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2003
Wed, 05-22-2013 - 8:17am
That's a really great idea! Not only for single parents, but also parents where both parents might occasionally need to travel at the same time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 05-22-2013 - 2:02pm

savcal2011 wrote:
While I don't have kids in that age range - and probably wouldn't want to shell out for a bigger/additional hotel room and flights to DC if I did - I'm thoroughly impressed.  This will enable many parents to attend the conference that can't (or won't) be away from their kids for 3-4 days.  I would imagine it will be particularly appealing to single parents. I'll be very interested to see what kind of attendance they have at the "camp".

It sounds lovely in theory.  It will be interesting to see what kind of attendance there is at the camp.  Because like you, many members of the organization will love the idea but may not use it.  So you've labelled the organization family friendly and therefore will continue to pay dues (?), attend conferences, etc. without even using the Camp.  The reality is, 6 months to 12 years involves a lot of staff, insurance, costs, etc.  If $40/day doesn't cover costs, it has to come from somewhere ~ does it come out of members' dues? 

Enjoy the conference if you go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2011
Wed, 05-22-2013 - 5:33pm

It's an interesting idea.

I don't think we would have ever used the option because in my dh's industry, most of the true value in conference trips isn't in the scheduled workshops, but in the business connections formed at 3 in the morning at the Vegas breakfast buffet after a long night of drinking with the guy who signs your paychecks. It would be difficult to make that compatible with children, outside of a nanny.

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 05-22-2013 - 8:28pm
Oh, I'm going to the conference. It's one of the highlights of my year. I'm presenting an all-day workshop too. I"m sure that the costs are subsidized by conference fees, but they make a pretty profit (errr, surplus) on the conference every year, so we're not (yet) seeing an increase in conference registration.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Wed, 05-22-2013 - 11:12pm

savcal2011 wrote:
Oh, I'm going to the conference. It's one of the highlights of my year. I'm presenting an all-day workshop too. I"m sure that the costs are subsidized by conference fees, but they make a pretty profit (errr, surplus) on the conference every year, so we're not (yet) seeing an increase in conference registration.

I bet one of the draws of these conferences is that attendees get a child-free day or two.  Kids stay home at Camp Grandma.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Thu, 05-23-2013 - 4:28pm
I would have loved such a thing when my kids were small and taking them to a conference involved paying travel, room, meals, etc for a nanny, not to mention hourly rates. I've been to a few conferences over the years that have some child care assistance. I'm at a convention right now that had a "kid's club" at the hotel for $75 a day or $45 a half day. Even that would have been a help.