Having child care in your fitness center is essential. For parents, having a safe place to bring their child to play while they work out is a requirement when choosing a fitness center. Providing child care is more complex than putting toys in a room and hiring staff to watch the children. Take the following steps to ensure that your child care center is a safe, and fun place for your littlest members to be.
Not all states require child care centers in fitness clubs to be licensed. Each state’s rules regarding licensing can vary slightly, so be sure to find out what your state requires. Even if your state doesn’t require a license, it makes good business sense to do it anyway. It will provide your members with peace of mind!
Every member of your staff should be on the same page when it comes to procedure. From checking in and checking out children, to emergency response, safety procedures, and opening and closing procedure, having the staff thoroughly trained in how you want things to be done will help to ensure the safety of the children. Post copies of your procedures in the child care room, and have a binder in the employee area of the room.
Many fitness centers opt to not allow their staff to change diapers, instead paging parents when a child needs a change. It’s your call on how you want to handle that, but once you make a decision, be sure everyone is consistent. It could create issues to have staff members changing diapers for the kids they are familiar with, and not others. Also, have hand sanitizer bottles readily available, and ask that all children clean their hands upon entering the room. Another policy you’ll want to have in place is what your staff should do if a visibly sick child is brought into the child care room.
The kids in your care should look forward to coming to your child care room. This will help with member retention! Make your child care room visually appealing. Provide a variety of books, toys, games, textures, and surfaces to engage them. Have an area with mats for them to run around and blow off steam, and a separate area where they can go for a little quiet time with a book. Regularly rotate materials in and out to keep things fresh.
A quality child care program can greatly increase the profitability of a fitness club. If you need help developing yours, contact us today.