Free on-site child care makes difference for families to fit in workouts

May 8, 2024

Brittany Kraayenbrink’s workout has to work into the rest of her life, which is why GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness is a fit for the whole family.

“What we like about it is all the different locations,” she said. “My husband goes to one close to our house that doesn’t have child care, and I go to one that is close to my children’s school so I can go right after drop-off and bring my 2-year-old to child care.”

Her 2-year-old doesn’t go to day care “and is very shy and doesn’t go to other people, but she loves going to GreatLIFE,” Kraayenbrink said. “She runs right in and just loves the workers there, and they love her. I love it.”

That’s the environment at GreatKids, said Lisa Rappana, who runs the Performance Center location at 69th Street and Southeastern Avenue.

“Our team loves kids. It’s special to them, and I think the parents feel that too,” she said. “We still have a lot of members who are surprised to learn we offer child care, and then they realize how nice it is and come back.”

GreatKids is offered for up to two hours per visit for children 2 months up to 12 years. Diapering is not included. Child care is complimentary as long as the child is part of a GreatLIFE membership. The program is offered at Performance Center and Woodlake Athletic Club.

For Kraayenbrink and her daughter, “it’s good socially because while the other two are in school, she has someone else to play with and is getting socialization outside the home,” she said. “Plus, she just gets excited to go. I can say, ‘Can we go to child care?’ and she knows exactly what we’re doing, and that’s a good motivator to get me to the gym.”

That’s not uncommon, Rappana said.

“We’ve had parents work out largely because their kids want to come to GreatKids,” she said. “So it’s nice to have that help to get them there and to know that because the kids are happy and love to come, the parents then want to come.”

GreatKids offers hands-on fun, including crafts that change weekly, special events each month and a visit from the ZooMobile every summer.

“Some of our recent activities include making May Day baskets that the kids then passed out to members as they left, as well as making Mother’s Day presents,” Rappana said. “We do art, we play games, they can go to the gym and run, and we do little experiments.”

This summer, older kids can enjoy GreatLIFE’s PLAY Everything activities while they participate in child care.

“We plan to have more activities like a scavenger hunt and maybe little tournaments around kickball or basketball to keep them coming back,” Rappana said. “We have a whole separate room for babies in the summer when we have more big kids here, and if your child is ever having a hard time, we’ll come get you while you’re working out.”

Without child care, a workout for Kraayenbrink wouldn’t be an option, she said. Now, she usually goes three days a week and is planning to involve her older elementary-age kids this summer.

“I know people who have used it, and I want to be able to go to the gym in the summer and have the kids get something out of it,” she said.

“We’ve also done the bowling as a family and have used our GreatLIFE discount at stores and the zoo and on our Pavilion membership.”

The GreatKids team has gotten to know her little one too.

“She’s been coming here long enough she doesn’t cry. She just comes on in, and they color with her and play games,” Rappana said. “She knows this is just where we belong.”

To learn more about GreatKids child care, click here.

And that’s just the start. Here’s an easy look at the path your child can take through GreatLIFE no matter what the age.

Free on-site child care makes difference for families to fit in workouts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from everything going on at GreatLIFE!

You have Successfully Subscribed!