Child Care

Child Watch

Free drop-in childcare for our members while parents make use of the Y

More than ever, busy parents need support. When parents come to the Y for a class, group activity or workout, their kids need a nurturing, enriching environment where they can build healthy, trusting relationships with other kids and adults. More than a babysitting service, Child Watch provides children play-based learning experiences in a safe, fun environment.

Our childcare providers are trained to hone your child’s fine and gross motor skills, encourage socialization and teach them how to make healthy choices. Playful, engaging options are plentiful for young children while you exercise or connect with others over shared interests.

This drop-in childcare service is included with all Family or Single-Parent Family membership at the Ann Arbor YMCA and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Information & Policies

Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 3:00pm


  • Please note that as the Y continues our post-pandemic recovery, we will work to add additional hours, including weekday mornings and weekends.
  • Child Watch may close up to 30 minutes early if there are no children signed into the program.
  • Holiday schedules are subject to change and will be posted one week prior to holidays.

Ages: 4 months – 11 years

Parents may leave their children in Child Watch for a maximum of 2 hours per day. We recommend that you limit your child’s visit to these age-appropriate lengths:

  • 4 months – 6 months: 45 minutes
  • 6 months – 2 years: 1 hour
  • 2 years – 4 years: 1.5 hours
  • 4 years -11 years: 2 hours

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 Child Watch at that time.

In order to keep a clean and healthy environment for all, please do not bring your child to Child Watch if they are sick or displaying any sign of illness, including:

  • Fever of 100° or higher
  • Green and/or excessive nasal discharge
  • Vomiting, sore throat, eye infection or diarrhea
  • Unusual spots or rashes

Children recently experiencing any of these symptoms may return to Child Watch 24 hours after these symptoms have cleared, or with written consent from your doctor that your child is not contagious. Child Watch staff reserve the right to page parents for pick-up should a child display any of these symptoms.

Please note: to prevent illness, all children must wear socks and/or shoes during their time in Child Watch and are encouraged to sanitize their hands before and after entering Child Watch.


For the health & wellbeing of all our children, please do not bring any food or dairy products into Child Watch.

  • Staff are not permitted to bottle-feed infants or children while they are in Child Watch, so please ensure children are sufficiently fed prior to their visit.
  • Closed drink containers with water are permitted as long as they are labeled with the child’s first and last name.


For safety reasons, please be sure your child has a clean diaper on when you sign them into Child Watch.

Child Watch is not a licensed childcare facility, and therefore we are not permitted to change diapers. If your child’s diaper needs to be changed, you will be paged over the facility intercom system. Child Watch offers a changing table for your convenience. All diaper-changing supplies (including wipes) are your responsibility.

Special Accommodations

Please share any special circumstances or accommodations that your child may need upon your arrival.

Our staff will make every effort to accommodate those needs.

Our staff members hope to help each child develop positive feelings of self-esteem while fostering growth toward self-direction.

When a child is aggressive or disruptive, we will redirect him/her to more constructive activities. If a child continues to show aggressive or disruptive behavior, the following steps may be taken:

  1. We stop children from hurting him/herself or other children.
  2. We redirect to another activity or encourage time away from the activity. (children will be moved to another activity such as reading a book, coloring, etc.) Sometimes children need time to themselves so we will find a place for them to sit quietly until they are ready to rejoin the activity.
  3. If the behavior happens again, we will again try to redirect and calm the child. Parents will be notified and the behavior will be documented.
  4. If the behavior is persistent and the staff cannot redirect the child to other activities, then the parent will be asked to come and remove the child from the program.
  5. If a child consistently displays inappropriate behavior in the program, the child may be removed for an extended period of time.
  6. When a child’s persistent inappropriate behavior takes energy and attention away from the needs, safety and wellbeing of other children, or causes disruption of program objective, the possibility of suspending and/or expelling the child from the program will be considered. The decision to send a child home is an important and difficult one to make and will be carefully considered and discussed before the action is taken.

The Y prides itself on hiring quality staff that embody our Mission and have a passion for being a positive role model for children.

Staff members are selected through a comprehensive application and interview process, and are certified in CPR and First Aid. The Y aims to maintain the following adult-to-child ratios, although exact ratios may fluctuate based upon the various ages of children signed into the program at a given time.

ages 5 and up – 1:10 ratio
ages 2.5 to 5 years – 1:8 ratio
ages 1 to 2.5 years – 1:6 ratio
under age 1 – 1:4 ratio (as resources allow)

Join our team

Are you looking for a career where you can learn, grow and thrive, where you talents will shine and where you will impact and make a difference in the life of a child? Look no further. You’ve found it!

The Y provides warm and supportive environments where children learn and grow—and the kids brighten the days of all they meet! In addition to making a difference in the life of a child, here are several other great reasons to work at the Ann Arbor YMCA.

  • Be a part of the Y family – Whether you are new or returning to the workforce, you will form lifelong bonds with your colleagues and teammates at the Y.
  • Free YMCA Staff Membership – One of the benefits of working for the YMCA is a free family membership. You and your family can enjoy our wellness centers with tons of top-notch exercise equipment, upbeat and energetic group exercise classes, swimming pools and a host of other programs and activities!
  • Flexible part time and rewarding full time positions available – Our part-time childcare positions offer flexible schedules which are great for working around a second job, college class schedule or children’s school schedule. Our full time positions offer comprehensive benefit packages that include medical, dental, and vision insurance along with a 12% employer-funded retirement savings plan after two years of employment.
  • Work for a cause-driven organization – Feel good about your work as you are part of one of the most respected human services organizations in the world—a place where you work positively influences the lives of others and builds a better future for yourself and your community.
  • Enjoy smiles and giggles throughout your day – Our childcare centers provide each child with a warm and supportive environment in which to grow. We meet the needs of each child with experiences that foster development and a sense of self-esteem. Y programs strive to develop the total child, with particular emphasis on educational, physical, emotional and social skills necessary for success in the school years.