6 Things To Consider When Searching For A Gym With Child Care

Exercising can be difficult when you have children at home with you.  Although some adults are able to squeeze in workouts at home, that doesn't work for everyone.  Some people just enjoy the variety, structure and environment that working out at a gym offers.  Unfortunately, not all gyms offer child care.  Some have very limited care or low quality care.  Finding a gym that works for your family when you have children can be a challenge.  Here are some things to consider when searching for a gym that offers child care.

What are your state's requirements for short term care child care centers?

Child care at a gym is not the same as a day care you leave your children in while you work all day.  Regulations and requirements for short term child care vary by state.  Some states do not require these centers to be licensed.  States that do require licensing typically will have different standards for short term centers than other types of child care centers. 

What are the hours it is open?

Child care may not be available during all the hours that the gym itself is open.  Many gyms that offer child care is to offer care for several hours during the morning and again for several hours in the evening.  This allows for people with a wide range of schedules to take advantage of utilizing the care.

What are the stipulations to use the child care?

Not all gyms offer child care to members for free.  Some tack on an additional fee on top of the gym membership.  Others may charge per use or per hour.  There is also usually a time limit to how long you can leave a child in the child care facility.  Most gyms require that the parent remain on the premises the entire time the child is in their care.

What activities are available for the kids?

Child care centers located in a gym tend to accept a wide age range of children.  Larger gyms may separate older children from younger children in order to keep them busy in age appropriate activities.  Some offer opportunities to play outside.   If you have a child that wants to take in a special toy, a book, or an electronic advice, be sure to find out if this is allowed.  If you will be taking an infant, make sure they have a safe area that is blocked off for the babies. 

What measures are taken to ensure that my children are safe?

The safety of your children is likely the most important thing to consider when using gym child care.  A good gym child care center will always verify that your children belong to you.  Workers may be different depending on the day and time you visit.  They also see a large number of children and parents. They should have a good method of checking children in and out.  They should also remain consistent and always follow their policy, even if they know you.  An example of this is making each child wear a wristband or a sticker with your member ID written on it.  They then compare the number on your child's sticker to your ID at pick up. 

What policies regarding diapers, restroom usage and feeding do they have?

If you have an infant, you will want to make sure that your gym child care allows their employees to change diapers and give bottles.  If you have potty-training children, find out if the employees will work with your child to use the restroom when they are in the facility.  Before you send a snack with your child, make sure it is allowed.  Some gym child cares do not allow outside food and drink.  If they do, there are often restrictions due to allergies. 

If your gym does not offer child care services, consider visiting a daycare center like Mountainside School instead.