Monday, January 5, 2009

AAS 213th Meeting: Day 1

Today's my busy day: I'm both presenting a poster and chairing an oral session. But now that the oral session is done, I finally have a chance to go online for a bit.

Today's big news was announced both by John Huchra, AAS President, this morning, and by Meg Urry during the CSWA Town Hall. The AAS will be providing childcare at the next three winter meetings! I think this is totally awesome, even I personally won't benefit. My kids are old enough that they are in school now, so it's simpler for me to just leave them at home with my husband. Still, I think it's a great step forward. I've seen several women pushing strollers or toting infants, and it seems like every year there are more of them. So I'm sure that this will come as a great relief to many.

It sounds like the childcare will be pretty affordable: $8/hr, is what Meg said this afternoon, because it will be heavily subsidized by an industry sponsor. This program will not replace the current childcare grants program, where you can apply for $100 toward childcare at the AAS Meeting, so you can apply for the grant *and* use the on-site childcare.

The important thing is that this is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition: if they don't get enough people using the service, "it will go away for good" as Meg said. So if you're in a position to use this service, do it!

Okay, that's about all the time I have for now: I'll post a recap of the CSWA session later.