I see lots of recommendations here that joining the Y to use their childcare while you get some exercise is a good idea. Our Y just reopened and the new building is great, DH went and checked out the weight room and everything, and I signed DD1 up for a half-hour once per week gymnastics class. So we joined. Last week my SIL (who works there part-time actually) asked if I would go work out with her, and we could leave the kids in childcare. I said sure.
She called later and was talking about what time we could go. I thought her schedule seemed really tight, but after a minute I realized she was saying when the childcare room would be "open" and not when she would be free. It's only open 5 hours per day! From 6 to 8:30 am and 5 to 7:30 pm. Also, you can leave infants over 8 weeks old, but they will not change diapers, and there are no cribs/swings/bouncy seats. No food or drink of any kind (snack, bottle, water in a sippy cup) is allowed in the room. They will not take older kids to the potty either. (If your child is old enough to walk to the bathroom and back alone, they can go, but if they're not the childcare person will page you to come get them.)
I guess if they had to limit the times, I understand picking those (since it could be used before/after work/school), but for those same reasons those are the busiest times and the weight room is packed then! She said you have to get there really early to snag a treadmill or stationary bike because everyone wants them. I wasn't planning on lifting weights. Also one whole wall is nothing but mirrors, and I don't really relish the idea of watching myself work out AND having twenty other people in the room (but I admit I'm very shy).
IDK, I guess I was thinking I'd like to go at a quiet time mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and let my DDs play with one or two other kids in the childcare room while I chatted with a couple other SAHMs on treadmills or whatever. Considering that I live in a very small community, that doesn't sound too ridiculous (after all I'm not in NYC or even a city or suburb, we are very rural), but apparently that's not how it is.
What is your Y really like, for you and for your kids in childcare?