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More than ever, busy parents need support. When parents come to the Y for a class, group activity, or workout, their kids need a safe, enriching environment where they can build healthy, trusting relationships with other kids and adult supervisors.

In Child Watch, children play under the supervision of caring, trained Y staff. At the same time, their parents are able to relax, connect with other Y members, and enjoy healthy activities at the Y.


Child Watch is free of charge for those with a YMCA family membership. (Child must be on the membership) Children can be added onto the membership for only $16 per month for all kids. 

Ages and Time Limit Max:

Child Watch (8 weeks – 9 years old) 1.5 hour maximum 

No Reservation required.

Locations and Hours:

Parkwood YMCA 

Monday-Thursday 9:00am -11:30am and 4:30pm-7:30pm 

Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm

Westside YMCA 

Monday-Thursday 9:00am -11:30am and 4:30pm-7:30pm 

Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm

Oak Park YMCA 

Monday- Saturday



YMCA Events

Check In and Out

Please scan your membership card at the Welcome Center desk before entering the Child Watch area. You will be required to scan your id a second time with our Child Watch staff to check in. At the first visit, we will ask parents to acknowledge and sign our child watch policies. We will ask them to resign every year based on policy updates.

For your child’s safety, a parent/guardian is required to sign their child in and out of the Child Watch centers.  The parent/guardian who signs the child in must also sign the child out, unless prior arrangements have been made with Staff.  No one under the age of 18 is allowed to check children in and out of the Tot Watch or Kids Gym areas.  Photo ID may be requested upon pick up and drop off.

Time Limits and Leaving the YMCA

The Y’s drop-in programs are not a licensed child care centers.  Due to this, the Y holds the right to limit your child’s usage of these areas.  Please ensure you are aware of the time limits as it relates to age-appropriate lengths.  In addition, parent/guardian MUST remain inside the YMCA facility during the child’s stay or on Y property and must be accessible in the event of an emergency.  Failure to comply will result in revocation of services.

Each location has set max capacities by room size. Since reservation is not required, its on a first come first serve basis.


Children showing signs of illness will not be allowed in the Tot-Watch/Kids Gym.  A child must be symptom-free for 24 hours in order to return.  If you find your child has a communicable illness or head lice shortly after your visit, please notify the staff immediately so appropriate action can be taken.


Please have kids use the restroom or have fresh diapers prior to entering the Tot Watch/Kids Gym areas.  YMCA staff do not change diapers in accordance with our association policy.  If your child needs a fresh diaper, you will be paged or located in the building.  

Medical Incident Procedures

In the event of an accident, injury or medical incident requiring more than basic First Aid, a child’s parent/guardian will be notified immediately and a staff member will call 911 as deemed necessary. Please notify us of any allergies your child might have upon each visit.

If a child needs to use the restroom, parents will be paged.  Exceptions will be made at branches which contain a bathroom within the room itself or directly next to the classroom.  At those locations, children have immediate access while still being within supervised site and sound.

If you are paged, we ask that you respond as quickly as possible. 

Evacuation Procedures

In the event of a fire or other evacuation situation, the staff will escort all children out the emergency exits to the designated safe area (please reference Safety maps).  Parents/guardians will be allowed to check out their child(ren) once the situation is safe and all children are secured.

Behavior Issues and Discipline

The Y wants to ensure the safety and well-fair of all children under our watch.  If behavior issues arise that affects the wellbeing of themselves, other children or staff, age-appropriate discipline may be used.  This will include using logical consequences and redirecting children displaying inappropriate behavior.  In some cases, supervised removal (time out) may be used.  If a child is having excessive problems (i.e. biting, hitting, etc.) the parent/guardian will be paged/notified and the child will be removed from the area.  If behavioral issues continue, a child may be asked not to return for a period of time determined by management staff and the parent/guardian.  



For the comfort of all participants, we will page or physically track down a parent/guardian if attempts to calm a crying child are unsuccessful for 10 minutes.  Once notified, the parent/guardian may have to check the child out of Tot Watch/Kids Gym at that time.


Electronics – These areas are “Screen Free” Zones.  Please leave electronic devices at home.

Food & Drink – Due to food allergies, no snacks or drinks are allowed in the child watch rooms

Clothing – For health & safety precautions, children must wear socks at all times.

Lost & Found – The YMCA is NOT responsible for personal belongings brought into the Child Watch Centers.  If belongings are brought in, please label them with your child’s name.  Any items left behind will be placed in our lost and found box for one week.

If there is a last minute closure of Child Watch, how can I be notified?

In the case if one of our Child Watch rooms need to close, families can sign up for text alerts to be notified.  Please follow the steps below: 

For Westside YMCA: Text: "wschildwatch" to 877-321-2949

For Parkwood YMCA: Text : "pwchildwatch" to 877-321-2949.

For Oak Park YMCA: Text: "opchildwatch" to 877-321-2949.