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One of the only programs of its kind in Canada; no limit on the number of free childcare spots available to attendees; children welcome in all event spaces

A new partnership between B Lab US & Canada and B Corp ™ Certified, sustainable education furniture supplier, Natural Pod is bringing full-time childcare, at no additional cost, to anyone participating in the Champions Retreat March 18-22, 2024. The initiative will remove the lack of childcare as a barrier for conference attendees and help enable full engagement in the event. Held since the early days of the B Corp movement, Champions Retreat brings 700+ people together from leading businesses that prioritize people and the planet. The timing of the event increased the imperative for childcare, as Champions Retreat overlaps with Spring Break closures for many daycares and schools.

Providing childcare at professional events is a small-scale but impactful action organizations can take to help tackle the current childcare crisis affecting families across Metro Vancouver and many parts of Canada. In Vancouver, one spot exists for every four children in need, and many provider waitlists quote wait times of three years or longer. This severe shortage, combined with high costs, means finding affordable care within reasonable proximity is an impossibility for many parents.

At Champions Retreat, B Lab US & Canada and Natural Pod will create a safe and inspiring learning environment for the children of event attendees at the Vancouver Convention Center, constructed with sustainable materials. Experienced and certified professionals will provide childcare services via the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society’s Pop-up Childcare program, a 48-year-old organization with a mission to deliver accessible, inclusive, low-barrier programs for immigrant and refugee women. Throughout the event, children will also be welcome in all event spaces, meaning parents will have opportunities to connect with their children whenever they choose.

Speaking on the need for a safe, sustainable and inclusive learning environment at workplaces and professional events, Bridgitte Alomes, Natural Pod’s CEO and Founder, said:

“For Natural Pod, it was an instant yes when we were given the opportunity to create a sustainable, child-centered learning environment for the childcare program at the Champions Retreat. As a Certified B Corporation, we aim for every child to learn and play in healthy, beautiful, sensory-inspired environments. Together with B Lab, we are reimagining what it means to bring your kids to work, and Champions Retreat will be a place where children and their parents can learn alongside one another.”

Speaking on why inclusivity and childcare are critical elements to the success of Champions Retreat, B Lab US & Canada CEO Jorge Fontanez said:

“B Lab takes its mission to use business as a force for good seriously, and this extends to how we welcome people to our spaces. Providing childcare at Champions Retreat, with the help of Natural Pod, is an example of how organizations can play a small part in addressing the childcare crisis, alongside government action. We also see this practice of inclusivity as a critical element of the future of work, where the needs of families, communities and the planet play an integral role in the way business benefits workers.”

For Karen Lickteig, event director for Champions Retreat 2024, providing childcare to event attendees isn’t just a professional concern — it’s a personal one. Lickteig plans to bring her 10-month old baby to the event: “I am so grateful to B Lab and the B Corp community for prioritizing community care, and providing much-needed support to working parents like me. I wouldn’t be able to show up and do this work without that level of support. I’m thrilled that we’ve found excellent local partners in Vancouver like NaturalPod and PIRS, and know that my son will be well cared for while I’m working the event.”

Learn more about childcare at Champions Retreat 2024.

About B Lab U.S. & Canada
B Lab U.S. & Canada is a partner in the B Global Network, a unified group of global, regional, and national organizations that power a business movement as a force for good. A historic global culture shift is underway to harness the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges. Our global network creates standards, policies, tools, and programs that shift the behavior, culture, and structure of capitalism. B Lab certifies companies — known as B Corps — who are leading the way. Our vision is an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.

About Natural Pod
Natural Pod builds and designs sustainable, durable, beautiful education furniture. Our products and spaces beautifully blend functionality with boundless potential fostering collaboration, small group dynamics, and individualized learning experiences within all educational settings.

About Champions Retreat
Champions Retreat is the key catalytic and inspirational event for the B Corp movement in the U.S. and Canada, connecting and mobilizing values-aligned people using business as a force for good.

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