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On-Site Childcare: An Overlooked Element of Inclusion?

Some associations are making it easier for working mothers to attend events. Here are a few examples, plus suggested steps for offering a childcare program during a convention.

As associations focus harder on diversity, equity, and inclusion than ever before, their vision must become wider to ensure they are reaching out in a meaningful way to all audiences.

Case in point: Of the 167 million people in the U.S. workforce, more than 24 million are women who have children under the age of 18. But the practice of offering childcare services around a convention or exhibition is not sufficiently widespread to help most of those women take advantage of an event’s educational and networking opportunities.

Interestingly, the scientific- and medical-association community is one that’s taken a leading role in developing event-childcare initiatives. This article from provides several examples of how childcare is being offered around such conferences and exhibitions—in the convention center, at a nearby hotel, or at a childcare facility close to the event site.

For associations looking to expand their degree of inclusivity by offering childcare services, the article also includes this link to the protocols used by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The webpage details the steps association-event planners can take to find properly-insured childcare providers in a destination, with or without getting involved in the contracting of providers. There are also tips for promoting the childcare services to event participants.

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