The biggest question to answer, in an event for parents, is whether or not childcare should be provided. Parent’s Summit sites have taken many different approaches – some include childcare in their ticket cost, others provide it free of charge, and others don’t provide it at all.
In wrestling through this, keep these elements in mind:
- Providing childcare for an 8 hour event is complicated, involved and messy (sometimes literally!).
- How will you handle naptime?
- Providing childcare, for free or for a pre-set cost, will increase you attendance.
- Not providing childcare will increase the cost for many parents, as they will need to find babysitters.
- Keeping children onsite can both encourage some parents and create anxiety for others (“Do you think Jonny’s doing well? I’m going to go check”).
- Make sure you can handle food allergies and other food intolerances.
Some alternatives to providing on-site childcare:
- Identify and reference babysitters for parents.
- Create ‘sitter sharing’ contacts where parents of one or two children can hire a sitter to watch multiple family’s kids.
- If your church has a small group ministry, offer Parent’s Summit childcare as a service opportunity for those small groups.
Please keep wisdom in mind when coordinating childcare, please operate within your church’s Child Protection Policy, and have a clear plan before moving forward.
For planning sake, the Parent’s Summit live event does not provide childcare. We’ve made the decision to simplify our planning and ask parent’s to find access.
As we consider it, childcare is a value piece. The first few years you host The Parent’s Summit, offering childcare might be helpful to attract parents to the conference. But, as the value and quality of you Summit Event is established, you may be able to step away from the childcare offering without loosing attendees. Carefully re-evaluate this piece each year.