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by Kareem D. Jenkins, ASA Meeting Services
Sociologists often need to juggle professional and personal lives and attending the Annual Meeting can often be a part of this issue. The Annual Meeting is a big tent and has a mission to include the small children of the meeting attendees within the community.
Whereas active membership in the ASA entails attendance at the Annual Meetings of the Association, and such activity should not be incompatible with the responsibilities of parenthood. –ASA Council, September 2, 1970
Since the 1970s, ASA Council has sought to alleviate the conflict between parenthood and the academic career by providing an on-site child care service at the Annual Meetings. While participating in program sessions and meetings, parents can rest assured that their children are enjoying various activities in a safe, monitored environment.
The child care service, offered in partnership with KiddieCorp, Inc., works with children from 6 months to 12 years of age. The program features arts and crafts projects, group games, and child-pleasing movies and cartoon videos. The service also features diaper changing stations, extra supplies for infants (in case a parent forgets to pack diapers or baby wipes), and the staff provide written hourly infant/toddler reports for the parents.
ASA continues its tradition of providing an on-site program of activities for children of Annual Meeting registrants. Arrangements have again been made with KiddieCorp to offer a full child care program August 14-17, from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm, for children between the ages of 6 months to 12 years. The Child Care Service will be located at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, co-headquarter hotel for the 2010 Annual Meeting.
This year’s service theme is, "Big Top Circus," and invites children to become part of the show. Children will get up close and personal with inflatable circus animals and puppets. There will be colorful mini circus tents to perform in and a tunnel to incorporate into the act.
The circus craft table will be the site for making funny-face clowns with washable body crayons. Children will also have a few items to take home including paper bag hand puppets and tissue paper flowers. The older children will be able to show off their juggling skills while the younger children practice their goofy walk and clown antics. Everyone will be able to join in the fun and excitement at the Big Top Circus Bonanza!
In the past, parents have appreciated having a space at the meetings that caters to an important family need. In the midst of a great sociological debate, do not be alarmed if you hear the laughter of small children.
Several financial assistance scholarships are available to provide reduced daily usage fees for children of unemployed or low-income members/students. To apply for a scholarship, write a letter identifying your membership status and requesting a child care scholarship and attach the confirmation of your meeting registration and send it to:
ASA Meeting Services, 1430 K St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005; firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: (202) 638-0882. Be sure to fill out the Child Care Registration portion of the form, provide daily usage estimates, and remit the basic child care preregistration deposit.
The cost for the ASA Child Care Service is a $50 non-refundable preregistration deposit for each child. The deposit will be applied to the first day’s usage and it guarantees service access at discounted daily-use fees ($30 half-day, $50 full day) during the meeting. It is unlikely that non-preregistered families can be accommodated onsite. The service staffing is contracted based on the number and age of preregistered children, and on-site adjustments are limited. If there are any openings, fees for children who were not preregistered will be $75 per day per child. No exceptions.