[FOSS4G-Oceania-discuss] Making FOSS4G SotM Oceania child friendly

Claire.Trenham at csiro.au Claire.Trenham at csiro.au
Wed Jul 18 21:49:52 PDT 2018

Kid-friendly sounds great to me. Might stop the big humans being boring all the time too ;-)

One note on breast-feeding, if you have any mums of infants attending, try to ensure there is an actual room available for pumping etc, not just the chill space which might not be private enough.

While informal childcare is legally not a go, it might not hurt to collect a list of people with Working with Children clearance (though obviously only Victorian clearance would be valid for formal arrangements), and ask if they’re happy to be “safe people” that kids can be left with in the event than a parent really is needed in a session and they really can’t be. You sort of covered this in “networking with other parents”, but there may be others who can also help out and have state confirmation that they’re okay.

I love the idea of kids being welcome. It’s good experience for them in learning how adults operate, and it’s good for adults to remember our work isn’t the only thing in the world :)


From: FOSS4G-Oceania-Discuss [mailto:foss4g-oceania-discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of adam steer
Sent: Thursday, 19 July 2018 2:08 PM
To: foss4g-oceania-discuss at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [FOSS4G-Oceania-discuss] Making FOSS4G SotM Oceania child friendly

Hi all

The FOSS4G SotM Oceania committee has been to-and-fro-ing about childcare at the conference for a while now. A consensus is forming around the idea of a child friendly conference, rather than organising formal childcare.

We have some ideas about how this might look. I may be bringing an 8 and nearly 10 year old along, and to me this means:

- I haven’t submitted a talk (I have submitted a workshop).
- I expect that when I go to sessions I’ll bring my little fellas, take a place someplace near a convenient exit, and expect to have to run out at some point - because I don’t expect them to sit still for 1.5 hours at a time
- network with other parents ahead of the conference to make some informal arrangements if I *really* need uninterrupted time
- chip in to the Good Mojo fund to help cover costs of catering for two hungry boys.

it also means that as a community we need to:

- accept small people into the community, be respectful toward them (ie don’t just run them over or ignore them if they try to engage you). This is important - small humans are still humans, and how we interact with them shapes how they will interact with the world in future!
- accept minor shuffling around if parents and small humans need to make a quick exit from a session (this is actually normal, I’ve *never* attended a conference where even grown ups don’t silently and effortlessly shuffle between sessions - and grown ups are often quite disruptive when doing so)
- be OK with the fact that mums with smaller humans need to be breastfed.
- provide an ‘escape space’ if possible, a room for parents and their small humans to escape the buzz.

In short, gracefully accept the presence of our future community leaders; and help show them how to create an inclusive and accepting space.

What do you, as a community, think? What compromises do you think are OK/not OK in order to help parents turn up and participate?

Is branding the conference as a ‘bring your small humans and we will work it out’ event going to work for you?

There are heaps of very strong views about how small humans and big humans should interact. This page: http://www.awareparenting.com/english.htm#principles<http://www.awareparenting.com/english.htm> exposes much of my own approach (with formal training in developmental psychology and neuroscience, this completely resonates) - and why I think a small-human-friendly approach *can* work.

Still, it’s just one view out of potentially a couple hundred attendees.



Adam Steer
+61 427 091 712
skype: adam.d.steer
tweet: @adamdsteer
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