So, thereâ€™s all this great stuff for me to do at the Daybreak Community Center, but what about my kids? Thatâ€™s where the DCC falls short, in my opinion--thereâ€™s child care for younger kids and the basketball gym for older kids, butÂ no place for families to spend time together and it's many obscure rules detract from the fun it could be.
The child care at the community center is excellentâ€”who better to leave your precious children with than neighbors and friends?â€”but pricey. At $2.50 an hour per child (ages 18 months to 8 years) or $3.50 an hour for an infant (older than 6 months) the rates are pretty comparable to typical daycare but extremely expensive for gym child care. And you have to pre-pay in 10-hour increments. They increased the fees last year in order to make the child care more self-reliant, so residents who arenâ€™t using the child care donâ€™t have to pay for it, but if youâ€™re bringingÂ even a coupleÂ kids to the gym regularly, youâ€™ll honestly probably save money working out somewhere else. Also, the child care fills up quickly, especially for infantsâ€”I wouldâ€™ve been sent home this morning without my workout if someone else hadnâ€™t canceled at the last minuteâ€”so donâ€™t be like me and make sure to call ahead for a reservation.
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Kids ages seven and up can play basketball in the gym, and starting at age nine they can play there unsupervised (being an elementary school gym there are plenty of kid-sized hoops). But kids under seven are banned from the gym altogether, they pretty much canâ€™t go anywhere in the community center except the overpriced child care. Since dropping the babies off at daycare just doesnâ€™t seem to count as family time, if youâ€™re a family with young kids looking for an indoor activity in Daybreak youâ€™re pretty much out of luck. I would sure like to see an indoor playground or play space in future amenities, some place for families to go when the parks and playgrounds are covered in drifting snow.
Then thereâ€™s the rules. There are many, many, many rules at the Daybreak Community Center but no one really knows what they are because they arenâ€™t publicly posted (Clint Warnack, the DCC director, says theyâ€™re working on it). Even the ladies at the front desk, who seem to forget theyâ€™re receptionists not babysitters, have a vague concept of the rules they zealously enforce. One evening, after shooting a few hoops with our two boys, my husband decided to join the basketball clubâ€™s pick-up game. A receptionist bustled in the gym and insisted that our boys, ages 6 and 8, instead of sitting on the sidelines to cheer on their dad, had to sit in the corridor outside the gym. After sitting in a hallway for an hour, you can imagine how happy those boys were. My husband checked with the director who told him that there was no such rule, so the second time it happened (and it did, those receptionists are very good watchdogs) he was able to stand up for his cheering section.
And whatever you do, donâ€™t forget your membership card. Theyâ€™ll look your name up and let you in with a warning (three strikes and you have to get a new card), but youâ€™ll walk away double-checking your arms and legs to make sure theyâ€™re all there and wondering if maybe you lost a part of your soul to the DCC. Also, no organized groups are allowed in the gym, specifically Junior Jazz teams. It doesnâ€™t matter if youâ€™re all Daybreak residents and thereâ€™s a dad coaching the kids, just say the word â€œpracticeâ€ and theyâ€™ll promptly kick you out. Even if you throw a fit.
Look, I understand the importance of rules that keep the space available for its primary purposeâ€”basketballâ€”but at least post them somewhere so we can all be on the same page. Maybe an online version for quick reference before heading over to the DCC, as well as a sign clearly listing the rules and situated in plain view would help make the community center more enjoyable for everyone.
In spite of the occasional collision with rules andÂ bossy receptionists (actually most of the people who work there are very nice), our family has really been enjoying the Daybreak Community Center. With its exercise machines for my husband, fitness classes for me, basketball gym for my boys, and child care for my babies, thereâ€™s something for everyoneâ€”even if itâ€™s not together. If youâ€™re looking for a refuge from the snow and a cure to your mid-winter cabin fever, check out the fun ways to get up and get going at the Daybreak Community Center.
PLEASE SEE THE FIRST 3 PARTS OF THIS REPORT IN ELLY'S WRITER COLUMN (THE LINK IS ON THE MENU)
Last update: 06-03-2009 13:27