DIY Childcare?

A client of ours recently visited CrossFit Oahu and was excited to report on their Do-it-Yourself childcare system…lock the little buggars in a cage and the parents are free to workout.


We don’t currently have a designated kid area, and this totally piqued my interest.

Then, just this past weekend Robb and I visited John and Kelly Brown of CrossFit Agoge in Montrose, Colorado for a nutrition cert…and low and behold they have a DIY childcare area as well!

Check out this short little video clip of their box including a client signing into MBO, a cool bumper rack that John built and their childcare area.

CrossFit Agoge from CrossFit NorCal on Vimeo.

So let me hear it…Do you offer similar DIY childcare and how do you see it benefiting your box?

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8 Responses to DIY Childcare?

  1. Zach@CFLV says:

    John and Kelly are innovators in the CF community. I have learned to take a long, hard look at what they do and why they do it. It usually leads me to a “eureka” moment which ends up benefiting our gym.

    Thanks for the post on childcare, Nicki. I think I just had a “eureka” moment…

  2. With so many couples training at our gym, NOT having a ‘kiddie corral’ just wasn’t an option.

    Our “cage” has a DVD player, toys, their own white boards, and their own rubber flooring. We invested considerable money to make sure that there was a window from the area into the gym (so that parents could check on the kids as well as the kids could get good influences by all the adults working out).

    We see a huge benefit of having a ‘kids area’ (we do not have “child care” services), in that when we get one parent, it is likely we can get the other to at least try us. Then once we have both parents, they get to enjoy an activity together that many couples lack in this busy ‘two income’ era.

    Now if we could just keep the cussing and foul music to a minimum. . .


  3. PXTcody says:

    Quick question.
    Are these ‘kiddie corrales’ staffed? Who is watching the kids while Mom and Dad workout? Or do you only accept kids big enough to be self sufficient for an hour?

    Also any insurance requirements?

    OK sorry. A little more than a quick question.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    As far as I know, the parents are still responsible for their child and keep an eye toward the kid area. That’s why it’s DIY. Not sure on the insurance question, maybe another affiliate can speak to that. I wouldn’t call it childcare per se, but a kid play area.

  4. Our cage is about 15′ by 15′. We padded ply wood and put vinyl over the top of it. After that we got some fencing from Home Depot and fenced it off. Our awesome parents donated toys for the cage and we added an old DVD player and T.V.
    I don’t have any kids but the the whole set up has saved the sanity of several of our parents and we have a ton of CFers that bring their kids now.
    Also to my knowledge no kid has escaped yet!! If anyone would like more in-depth plans or pics just email me.

    Thanks for the info Bryant!

  5. Ian Carver says:

    We do the same thing as Jeremy. We had several front offices in our space that we scratched our head about. So, we made one a kitchenette, one storage, one office, one changing room, and voila! one a kids playroom.

    It’s got interlocking padded “ABC” flooring, tons of toys from my grommets, a TV, no shortage of Thomas the Train vids, and a couch and pillows to lie on. The flooring makes clean up a cinch and big plastic totes hold all the toys.

    Parents will trade off watching the kids, or if they are old enough we can leave them to their own devices with the gym floor door open. The front door is locked so we don’t have to worry about them escaping or some off- the-street-freak coming in. When one of our 10 AM folks finishes, they trade with an 11 AM person and everyone goes away happy and gets a kid break for a bit.

    This is a God send for us and the clients as they don’t feel as though they are unable to attend due to having childcare constraints.

    The only things we really make sure of, is A) we don’t provide “daycare” (that’s a legal/liability mess we don’t want), B) kids stay up front at all times while the workouts are in progress in the gym.

    If anyone has the room or means to do it, I would highly recommend it as another option for clients and business.

    Best regards,

    Ian Carver

    THANKS for the details! That’s awesome feedback!

  6. @PTXCody

    We don’t call it child care or day care. Parents are still responsible for their kids. All the parents tend to communally watch over the pen.

  7. Julie says:

    This is something we are really wanting to do. Currently, our children are at the gym with us and in a cubicle partition, (with TV and DVD player), though I think that the gates where they are more visible would be better. Thank you for the post!

  8. Troy says:

    First post here and I’d like to first thank you for this very valuable resource. New affiliates like mine definitely stand on the shoulders of giants like you, Nicki.
    All of my friends and family have children and while we train in our garage, we open the first floor of our home to the kids. All the toys, tvs and occasional grandma or two(!) are there anyway. We just let them all play while we “play”.

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