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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously thinking about joining the YMCA and am wondering about any experiences with their babysitting services. I've been very depressed over the past month or so and finally realized how badly I need to get some exercise and some time to myself. Spending all day long at home with just DD day after day is *not* healthy for either of us.... Also, DD really needs more time with other kids & there is nothing for playgroups in our area. The only playgroup I've found is associated with the social services dept and they have a social worker who walks around the whole time trying to do developmental evaluations and asking all sorts of personal questions.
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Anyway, I can get a discounted rate by joining as a student & the babysitting service is $3/hr (3 hr max). I like the fact that it's in the same building & I know the lady who does the hiring (I used to work for the Y before/after school program when I was in college). Still, I've NEVER left DD with anyone besides our parents & have never check out any sort of daycare before so I'm a little nervous.

Any experiences you've actually had with gym babysitting services and/or ideas about questions I should be asking when I go in to check it out would be VERY appreciated.

Thanks!

Holly
 

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You should check out the babysitting service before you join. I have heard good things about gym babysitting services, so I think it can work. However, we have not had a good experience at all. I have tried several times over the past 6 months to get ds into the habit of staying in the babysitting service while I work out. But it never works. The caretakers always seem sort of bored, and I always feel like no one is paying personal attention to ds. They always have to come get me after 15 minutes because ds is crying. I think he would be okay if someone would say hello to him and play with him and look out for him a little while I'm gone, but no one takes the initiative, and I feel obnoxious demanding this. So I think ds just feels a little abandoned and forlorn. He has not been left with babysitters or relatives much, so his separation anxiety can be pretty intense, but I think he would do fine if the circumstances were right. I'm getting ready to cancel my membership.
 

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Go for it! I've used the Y babysitting and it's great. Of course they're all different. I think the main thing is to establish that they will bring her to you or come and get you if your child is upset. Make sure they KNOW that you don't mind leaving a workout. My bet is that she'll be fine and have a blast and so will you.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NicaG
I think he would be okay if someone would say hello to him and play with him and look out for him a little while I'm gone, but no one takes the initiative, and I feel obnoxious demanding this.
This is a really imprtant point you brought up here that I just want to respond to. It is not a choice between saying nothing and demanding things obnoxiously with child-care providers. It's extremely imprtant that we be assertive with them for two reasons 1) we model assertiveness for our kids so that when we're not there they can assertively see to it that their own needs are being met and 2) every child is different and clear communication with your child-care provider is *vital* in assuring that they receive some individual treatment and that you know what goes on with them when you're away.
This is one area where it is not ok to just be quiet. It would be absolutely fine for you to approach the teacher and say "my son seems a little lost and forelorn when I drop him off here, he's not used to childcare at all, can we make an extra effort to make him feel welcome and special when he arrives?"
 

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my experiences with gym childcare have all been positive. I usually find the caregivers down on the floor playing with my dd when I return. It's worth trying out- you'll be right there if a problem arises, and 1 hour or so is a short enough time for most little ones.
 

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I second the pp who said you should check it out. Personally, I used the Y day care with DD at one YMCA, and I know the director of another one personally. I had a wonderful experience, DD had lots of fun, and I will definitely be using the child care at my new local Y as soon as DS is old enough. But even within one organization, child care practices can vary so much...I'd go and spend some time there before you make a decision.
 

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I think it would depend on the YMCA you go to. The one I go to has very good caregivers. Also, DS goes to the pre-preschool program there. It's twice a weeks, 1.5 hours, and just a great program all around. We've been very happy.
 

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I can only speak for the Westport/Weston CT YMCA (DH works there and usually has the inside scoop so I checked with him). If your Y has a daycare program, then all drop in service workers meet the same standards as the regular day care program care takers.

It seems that there have been no complaints with the program here and they even accept cloth diapers as long as they are AIOs.

The cener at our Y is well organized with planned activites and loads of toys and supplies and a good staff ratio.

I'm sure you can ask for references from other moms that have used the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the thoughts so far. I did peak my head in there today when I stopped by to pick up the info and the caregivers were definitly engaged with the kids. DD doesn't have a lot of seperation anxiety either. I think as long as I stop in a couple times ahead of time with her so she's familar with them she'll do OK in that regard. Frankly, I think it will be a bigger issue for me than for her.


I'm just going to buck up though and deal with it. I HAVE to. We're expecting #2 in January and I simply can't go on being this depressed all the time. We got out the past 2 mornings and it helped (beach, McD's play area, the park, grocery shopping, visited my grandparents) and those were all great but I also need some time just for me, to recharge my batteries so to speak. I'm shooting to get to the gym 2-3 mornings a week, after which we'll stop and do something fun for DD like the library or the park or going to the small to play with the train table at the hobby store. That will keep us out of the house a couple morning a week, then DD naps each afternoon still, so overall I should get some sanity back.
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Holly
 

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I did very briefly until they let Dh pick her up one day without even checking who he was and that was ok when I had dropped her off...she hated it anyhow so it did not last long!
 

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I joined a gym after touring and seeing their childcare facilities. They looked great; lots of stuff to play with, cool activities, etc. But I quit the club because while it LOOKED great, the caregivers were very inattentive. The kids were always parked in front of movies that scared my 2 yr old ("but we only show G rated movies...."), and my baby was left in a swing the whole time. There wasn't any playing, etc. This doesn't mean that they can't be great, but I definitely would pop in and visit several times at the child care before joining.
 

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I took DD to the gym daycare. We got out of the habit since I haven't been going to the gym (walking with friends instead) but the things I looked for were:

1. Security. How do they check in and out the kids? They have both dd and my photo connected to my membership so when I drop her off they sign her in (and put a sticker on her back with her name) and when I pick her up they look at the photos in the computer to make sure I am her parent.

2. Background checks on the providers. Do they do them?

3. Closed circuit cameras?

4. Diapers? Do they change diapers. At my gym no, which is how I like it.

5. How are the providers with the kids? Can I peek in at any time? There always seems to be someone holding my little one but she is especially adorable.


6. What is the kid to adult ratio? I only take dd in the middle of the day because otherwise there are too many kids.

7. What do they do if there is a problem like dd won't stop crying? Discipline?
My gym pages at 10 minutes of crying. If I don't magically appear, they come get me.

I have had no problems with taking dd to the gym other then the usual separation anxiety. The first couple of times I only did 10 minutes on the treadmill but gradually I worked up to a whole 30 minutes. Now I can do 45 minutes and come down - she is fine. They do watch more videos then I like (dd doesn't watch any at home) but to get some exercise... It is worth it IMO. Oh and I cried the first few times I left her there.
 
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