Kids Stop at the Y: Meet Our Three Kids Stop Coordinators
Where Children Can Have Fun, Giving Parents Time for Self-care
One of the member benefits at the Y is our no-cost babysitting, in a program we call Kids Stop. Each of our facility branches has a Kids Stop room where children can enjoy free play and/or participate in activities that may include painting, crafts, reading, STEM projects or music, all while their parent or parents work-out, lap swim, take a class, shower or read a book in our lobby (parents are required to be in the building at all times). Part of leading a healthier lifestyle is having peace of mind while you exercise. Our Kids Stop locations are staffed with people who understand the cognitive, physical and social development of kids, the support parents and families need and the importance of maintaining a safe, clean environment for children to learn and thrive.
“Parents LOVE Kids Stop. They appreciate having a safe, friendly and nurturing place for their little ones to come and explore. Parents love that they can focus on themselves while they kids have fun, guilt free. It’s a place for the kids to become more independent being away from mom and dad, but also make new friends,” said Janna Vartanian.
This was shared with Heidi Houston, our Kids Stop Coordinator at the Nashua Y, from one of the parents who appreciates the program: “I wanted to make sure I sent some feedback about the Nashua Y’s Kids Stop. I have had the best experience with the staff there. My kiddo is a pouty two-year-old who doesn’t like when I leave him. He’s not easy and requires extra attention. I think it would be easy to be annoyed about his behavior. Yet every time I drop him off they are positive and supportive. They keep track of what he likes and clearly have put effort into helping him adjust. I just want an hour to go to one yoga class a week! I know the staff has done everything they can to soothe him before they send a text to come get him. I can’t begin to express how meaningful that is for me.” Heidi shared, “We get a lot of great feedback from parents! We are always being told how great this service is, how fantastic our staff is, and how comfortable the kids are in our space. Parents love that they can come in and relax and not have to worry about the kids. They know that they are in great hands with us!”
Parents have been generous in their appreciation. Melissa Werra, who is the Membership Director at the Westwood Park Y and Kids Stop coordinator at that branch shared this: “We have one little boy who turns three next month and he has never been in any sort of child care environment; but I received a phone call from the mom about a month ago now telling me how every night she and her husband read a story or two to their child before bed and on this particular night it was one of the Good Night books. At the end of the story, their son had said “Good Night Melissa” referring to myself. I had thanked mom for going out of her way to call me and share that with me.”
If you have specific questions about Kids Stop at any location, please feel free to reach out to the coordinator: Nashua Y, Heidi Houston (firstname.lastname@example.org); Merrimack Y, Janna Vartanian (email@example.com), or Westwood Park Y, Melissa Werra (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Westwood Park YMCA Kids Stop (For children age 1 through age 12)
Monday-Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Monday- Thursday 4:00pm to 7:30pm
Saturday 8:00am to 12 noon
Nashua YMCA Kids Stop (for children age 1 through age 12)
Monday-Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm and 4:00pm to 7:30pm
Saturday 8:00am to 12 noon
Merrimack YMCA Kids Stop (for children 6 weeks old through age 12)
Monday-Wednesday 9:00am to 1:00pm and 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Thursday- Friday 9:00am to 12 noon and 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am to 12 noon
Reservations are required and can be made through our website or through our new APP. There is a two hour limit per day/per child.
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