Antony and I are considering getting a membership to our local YMCA and have a 3 day trial pass this week. We went this morning and left Layla with their child watch staff (very convenient) and it felt so good to work out! I haven't done too much of that since Layla was born and boy did I feel it this morning. Actually, it wasn't quite as bad as I expected but I just did the elliptical for like 8 minutes and then walked.
The child watch program is very convenient for parents at the Y but I'm not sure how I liked it. Since I've worked with kids in a lot of different settings I'm very critical about how the staff are, especially now that I have my own child. The Y is set up so that parents can watch their kids from different locations while they're working out so I was able to see Layla from above as I walked on the track and also while I did the elliptical. I love this. I think tomorrow I'll take her swimming, though :)
So my complaints about their child watch...not once did I see the staff interact with Layla. They sat her down in front of her favorite toy that she also has at home, but she wasn't close enough to even play with it. They also gave her a small toy to play with. She was most interested in just watching the other babies and everything going on around her (thankfully she was content!) I saw one of the staff members walk around her twice and not acknowledge her. When we went in to pick her up after our work out, we could have easily snuck in and grabbed her because the girl that was 'watching' the babies was actually watching the older kids through the window. She only knew we walked in because she heard the door close. That REALLY concerned me.
I was impressed with their check-in and check-out system. When you check-in they assign you a number and the parents get a key chain with the number on it and the child gets a name tag, which goes around their ankle so it can't fall off. They also have a 10 minutes cry rule where if your baby has been crying for 10 minutes then they will call the parent over the intercom. I also really like the setup which allows me to watch Layla from above or through the window if I'm on the first floor.
Overall, as a parent, I would rate the Y a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10. Its very, very nice and clean and has a good variety of equipment and classes. The pool looks very nice but its only an indoor...I was really hoping for an outdoor pool for the summer. The childcare is literally a child WATCH and not much more than that but I guess I'm not paying for childcare, specifically, so I can't expect too much from them. They did keep Layla safe and happy. I was very proud of her :)