Childcare at Tech Conferences

A Publicly Maintained List of Tech Conferences that Offer Childcare

Long story short, I’ve made a repo where you can find a publicly curated list of tech conferences that offer childcare to their attendees.

I’ll soon be entering my 5th year as a Developer Advocate for IBM and a big part of my job is traveling to conferences around the world to speak about the cool things we are working on. But since I started this work there has been a big shift in my life… I became a parent. I now take special note of the shift in the air at tech events that provide childcare. The event feels more lively. More inclusive. To be honest, people seem more relaxed. Perhaps this is because the parents in the crowd know that they can be fully present without having to feel like they have to worry about what’s happening with their families at home?

Color pencils in a wooden cup in the foreground with a child’s hand visible in the background. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Providing childcare is one way that you as a conference can make your event accessible to caregivers who want to contribute and attend but need (or want) to bring their kids along. Last year I posed this question to twitter…

I received many amazing responses and it dawned on me that this is something that others are taking note of as well. In fact, there is much evidence to support the fact that offering childcare opens doors to people who would otherwise miss out.

“Why is it important for (parents) to attend conferences for the first few years after they have a child? Because this is the critical time not only for childbearing, but also a critical time for career development, and (they) miss important opportunities if they don’t participate in the conference[s]. And there’s always this constant trade-off between whether I should go to a conference or should I stay at home to take care of my child.” — Yan Liu, an associate professor in machine learning at the University of Southern California.

I decided it would be nice to compile these responses somewhere so that the list can be kept up to date and so that it can be easier for parents in tech to find the conferences that will accommodate their needs as caregivers.

This list includes conferences that span the reaches of the tech industry, from Python, Javascript, and Ruby to Wordpress, Data Science, Machine Learning, regional and international conferences alike. Special thanks to all the people who contributed to this list from my original tweet. It was harder for me to figure out which conferences offered childcare for free vs an add on ticket or just provided resources to make it easier to find, so if you see a ? in that column and know the answer, please submit a PR! Either way, bookmark, contribute, or make improvements if you feel so inclined.

workforce development #IBMQuantum & @Qiskit. organizer @WiMLDS. board @vtTechAlliance. this content doesn’t represent my employer. http://pronoun.is/she

workforce development #IBMQuantum & @Qiskit. organizer @WiMLDS. board @vtTechAlliance. this content doesn’t represent my employer. http://pronoun.is/she