Question for Moms Who Use Gym Child Care

Updated on January 05, 2013
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
21 answers

So I need to change gyms. Right now I pay a lot for a high end gym. I was willing to do this for a few reasons one being because the kids program was excellent. But now that I'm pregnant and not using the gym as much , I cannot justify the expense (also its too far away and I need to find something closer to home).
I toured a gym today that was nice. However they have video games and t.v. on in the child watch. So far I have avoided the whole video game thing. My kids get plenty of tv as it is, they don't need it at they gym. Would this irk any one else? I would be paying $75 month for me and two kids for unlimited use of gym and child care services. If i'm paying for child care, why do they resort to tv? Are my expectations out of whack?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Back when my kids were little the gym daycare was a life saver!!!! I really didn't care what my kids did in there, as long as it was safe. I NEEDED to work out. There was a huge TV in the child watch, but like others have said, when I went to pick my kids up they were rarely watching it. Usually they were playing on the gigantic slide (something you couldn't get anywhere else). If they seemed glued to the TV when were there well, then, that was their TV time for the day. I got my workout and shower in, so I didn't need to have the TV babysit them at home for that day. Know what I mean? Join the gym if you need to!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would actually be GLAD there was a TV and video games.
It's not like the gym care workers are qualified teachers, they are really just babysitters. Having a TV and video games for the older ones means they can give more time and attention to the infants and toddlers who need it more.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

In my experience, a family membership you are describing is about the cost you listed, so price-wise, it sounds right on.

Also in my experience, when the kids are in the play room while the parent works out, no one is watching the TV - it is background noise.

Lastly, unless you plan to be working out for 2+ hours (and if you do, wow how do you have time for anything else?!), I wouldn't worry about it. The minimal amount of TV they will be exposed to during your workout shouldn't concern you, imo.

As I see it, that type of gym day care is not there to enrich or teach your child as a normal day care would - they are there to make sure you can run and lift for 45 minutes without running after a small person.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

Yes, I think it is unreasonable to expect no tv/video games at the gym's childcare. It is drop-off care for your kids while you work out. It is not a preschool or even a regular daycare situation. Their job is to keep your kids safe and entertained while you exercise.

I work in one of facilities. We do the best we can, and we definitely play outside, engage kids in activities etc., but the fact is we sometimes have a ton of kids, or a whole bunch of infants, and we can only do so much. We aren't staffed like a regular daycare, so it can be two adults with 25 kids, and five or more of those might be babies. In those cases, we pop in a movie to keep the kids happy til the rush passes. We also allow older kids (8 and up) to play Wii if they want.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My gym had tv, no video was worth it for me to get two hours a day to workout and have a bit of time for me. I had no one to watch my children and babysitters are expensive. So, my gym was it...I lost thirty pounds in 18 months.

I just didn't let them watch as much tv at home knowing they would get some tv time at the gym. My older one watched it, but my younger one mostly just played with the toys.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

It's babysitting, not Montessori, and it's just for an hour or two while you work out. So I wouldn't worry too much if there are video games and tv there.

I've been to gyms with both types of child care, activity-based and video/tv based. Either way, after working out I'd do something fun with my kids to alleviate my guilt: take them swimming or to the park so they could work out and play, too.

BTW, I was paying about $180/mo for the gym with the video games and tv on at the childcare center. So $75/mo sounds like a good deal. If you are saving money and time by choosing a less expensive, closer-to-home gym, that leaves more of both to spend on your family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I work in a baysitting room at the Y. We do not have tv or video games, but I wish we did. We do not provide any "programming" for the children, as it wouldn't be possible due to the nature of the service (drop-in, mixed ages, high ratios). The service is that we keep the children alive and happy so that moms can get a work out in. The more tools we have at our disposal to accomplish this, the better. The Y provides plenty of programming (sports, art, dance, gymnastics, science, preschool, etc) for children of all different ages, but babysitting is babysitting. We only charge $2.50 and hour for the service, which is pretty cheap babysitting!. You can always tell your kids that they aren't allowed to play video games, and make sure the babysitters are aware of that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

i dont think its expensive what you pay. i use la fitness and i love it. i don't let my little one to stay at the kidsclub for more than an hr. i go 6 days a week so its worth every penny for me. i have used my gym till scheduled delivery and i was back in the gym as soonest my doctor said it was ok to go back. my son is 2 now, so i plan my gym around his happy time and my child is close by at all times. no sitters, no fees, no worries. it works for me, because he interacts with other kids and we both making new friends. healthy and fit mom is a happy and a wonderful mom.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I thin your expectations may be too high in an environment with multiple ages of kids. I pay $65 for unlimited gym use and up to 2 hrs per day childcare for one child, so the price sounds fine. The childcare area has toys and equipment for the kids to be active, if they want to do that. They also have computers, television, and game systems to use. I'm ok with my 5 year old daughter playing video games there if she wants, as we do not have a game console at home (and I have no desire for us to have one at home). It's a nice treat for her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I'm sure there are varied opinions on this but I too don't want the child care at my local gym to consist of tv and video games.
They resort to these mediums because it's an easy way to keep a bunch of kids under control.
Is there another option whereby you can sign up for a different plan that allows you gym-only access and figure out something else for the kids?
I wish you well with your pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i don't know about the video games - i think it's a little unrealistic to expect that they won't be exposed to them or want to play them eventually - but as far as the tv goes, if you're not opposed to them watching it, why is it an issue? just count it in their normal tv watching time and call it good. so they watch a little less, when they get home. i guess, yes, i do think you're expecting a bit much. especially since you said yourself that your other gym that was so fantastic, was more high end and you chose it specifically for that. your kids will be fine. it won't scar them for life if their gym childcare lets them watch tv.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I think they are. I pay $44 a month for gym membership. Another $31 a month for unlimited childcare for two children is a bargain. Considering that babysitting at home runs about $10.00-$12.00 an hour, you are essentially paying for three hours of babysitting per month and getting, what, 12-25 hours, depending on how often you go to the gym? Sounds like a steal to me. And as others have said, gyms aren't preschools or daycare centers. You can cut back on home tv to make up for their 'gym viewing' if it is a major concern.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like their childcare is not for you. You either need to find another gym with a better option or make the trek to the first gym with the nice program.

I don't even leave DD in Smalland at IKEA. Most of what she does is sit and watch TV so I consider that a failed experiment. At least when she's in the store with me, I can interact with her and she helps me shop.

Are there any Mommy and Me programs that might give you some of the exercise you want with the kids? Stroller Strides? Etc?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Green Bay on

I don't think your expectations are "out of whack" at all! I certainly would not pay that much for a gym who's child care was tv/video games. That would really bother me and would be a definite deal breaker for joining that gym. AND I wouldn't be afraid to tell them how absurd I think that is. They are a GYM promoting physical health and they have kids playing video games and watching TV?!? How backwards is that?!? :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm with you. I have used several different gym childcares, and none have had TV and video games. I limit my kids' time and what they are exposed to with media, so this would not be acceptable to me at all. I currently take my kids to the Y (not exactly high-end), and they have separate rooms for the younger kids and the older ones, their rooms are filled with toys, not TVs, and all their "teachers" are subjected to a background check and CPR certified. These are the bare-minimum requirements for me. The previous gym I attended was much higher-end and had all these things plus.

I hope this helps. Good luck finding a good gym!



answers from Cleveland on

i would be more concerned with the mixed age group, I would not want my little ones with big kids.

But i think if you allow tv at home then, you could solve the problem by limiting their time watching at home, not by expecting a preschool atmosphere for mixed age kids who are being dropped off at random times etc. It really is just drop off babysitting.

I don't know if it's possible but maybe you could ask if they would turn off the tv for the time your kid was there if you were to join the gym.



answers from Minneapolis on

Our local YMCA's include child care with membership, and there hasn't been a TV in any of the Y's we've been to (3 in our area).



answers from Los Angeles on

While it wouldn't be my first choice of how the kids were entertained, it wouldn't deter me from using that childcare. It's a quick convenience for you so you can get your workout done. Much less expensive than a regular babysitter and for a shorter time, since you're not paying a sitter for the time it takes you to drive to and from the gym.

If it lets you get your gym time in, go for it. Eliminate the equivalent amount of TV at home to balance it out.



answers from Bloomington on

I'm a member of a gym ( actually , they call it a health club. So, I guess a little higher end) & take full advantage of the childcare/ kids programs. They have a T.V. & Wii. I have been going for over two years & have only noticed them using the T.V. , maybe 10 times & that's stretching it. All the kids seem to busy doing whatever program is going on or playing in the tumbling room. Of course I don't know if your gym provides those things or if they will take advantage of them but that has been my experience.



answers from Los Angeles on

NO - your expectations are NOT out of whack! The gym is cutting corners and using an electronic babysitter instead of hiring another staff member.
Keep shopping . . . or maybe find a regular sitter who you could hire at home . . . . I really don't know if you will be able to find a gym that doesn't go the electric route.
Good luck!
I'm totally with you!



answers from Detroit on

OMG! I am with you!
I toured all the gyms, and the "nice" ones had video games and TV. I did NOT choose those.
The smaller gym that is cheaper (not by much) didn't, so I chose that.

The kids' time in the gym is supposed to be quality (and I don't want to feel guilty while I get exercise).

And the 2-year-old is not even going to preschool BECAUSE it's better for me to go to the gym than drive him back and forth to school. Mama needs to stay fit! So I need to make sure he's playing with toys there and not watching TV. All I ask at that age anyway.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions