We’re getting excited to welcome families to the 5th GFPD Family & Scientific Conference in just over two months! To help get families ready for the conference, I asked lead childcare volunteers Abby Simpson and Catherine Ozio to tell our families a little bit about what they can expect for their kids if they choose to use the free childcare room. Abby has been heading up childcare since our very first conference, and Catherine began volunteering in the childcare room in 2012 at our Orlando conference. Both Abby and Catherine have become fixtures for our kids each year and we’re so grateful to have them back again this year.
We are so excited to see so many families already registered, and we know that many others are considering attending. For those who will be attending our conference for the first time, can you tell them a little bit about what their child(ren) will experience in the childcare room?
Catherine: For our new families what they can expect from our childcare room(s) is a safe, friendly, environment with lots of activities and sensory toys for their kids to play with, so parents can experience the seminars that the conference has to offer without being distracted or worried about their child's needs!
Abby: Our goal is to have a variety of toys and activities for the children to use safely for the duration of the conference. In the past, these activities have ranged from a bounce house and ball pit, to movies and sensory toys. Since the ages, interests and needs of the children vary significantly in the childcare room, we try to have things for everyone to enjoy. A space is also usually set aside for children who need some quiet time or fall asleep.
Given our kids’ complex needs, some parents may worry about leaving their children in the childcare room. Abby, you probably remember how nervous I was our first year in Orlando! What would you say to those parents?
Abby: Care for and safety of your children is our utmost priority in the childcare room. We love to partner with families to learn about your children and what activities your children may enjoy (or not enjoy), as well as guidelines for the care of your children. Our childcare volunteers love engaging with the children and we look forward to meeting new families this year! We also ask all families to fill out a Childcare Intake Form. This helps us learn about your children and assists us in the planning process.