A lack of childcare can be a huge barrier to parents when it comes to working out in a gym or leisure centre. The truth is when you're a parent of young children, it doesn't matter how motivated you are to get to the gym if there's nobody to watch the kids!
Fortunately more and more gyms and leisure centres in Melbourne are coming on board, offering child-care options and crèche for clients to use at their facilities.
Many group fitness and boot camp operators also understand the need for parents to have adequate child supervision so will provide a carer so that mum or dad can get a workout in. This is particularly useful for early morning and non-school hour sessions.
Fitness centres, gyms and group fitness commonly offer childminding services as user paid crèche for certain sessions. Fees are normally quite cheap, and sometimes free, but keep in mind popular time slots will often book out, so it's best to plan the days when you'd like to use the services and book in advance.
Sessions are usually limited to a few hours in the morning or afternoon, so check with your centre to see how they operate and plan your workout accordingly.
The creche operators will usually ask you to fill in paperwork letting them know all about your child and their needs while in their care and you are generally welcome to stay with your child until they are settled and you are comfortable leaving them.
If there any issues with your child becoming unsettled etc while you are working out, you are nearby and can be easily contacted to return to your child if needed.
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Some Melbourne centres also offer classes where children are welcome. Group fitness classes like boxing or other group participation classes can sometimes lend themselves to this.
Baby and toddler friendly yoga and stretch classes are another way that gyms are removing the barriers for parents looking for a workout option.
Asking in local community groups is a great way to find recommendations for child friendly gyms in your area. Below you'll find some suggestions for some gyms offering a crèche service in Melbourne and surrounds.