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Fitness First Is Set To Close Their Creche Services - And Parents Are Fuming!

By: Tully Rosenberg, 16 June 2022

As if staying fit isn’t hard enough for time-poor, multi-tasking parents, Fitness First has announced that they are closing their coveted in-house child-minding services at all their gyms effective 3 July - and parents are fuming!

The Fitness First Playzone creches have provided a safe and affordable space for tiny tots within a stone’s throw of their grown-ups' workout. Little ones love the well-equipped facilities decked out with games, toys and imaginative play, that give them the opportunity for free-range fun and interaction with other children.

For parents, the service offered easy, accessible, short-term care with the peace of mind that their precious cargo was in good hands. They could claim some important guilt-free me-time with a sweat session at the gym - one of the small ways new parents can carve out a window for self-care and get a mood-boosting endorphin surge! Having childcare to help make that happen is key.

Fitness First Closing Creches across Australia
Despite its 'Put Yourself First' tagline, Fitness First is closing all their creche services.

What Went Wrong?

However, with the sky-rocketing cost of living making daily headlines, it appears even a major Australian fitness chain is susceptible to the economic downturn, leading The Fitness and Lifestyle Group to make the shocking announcement.

The Fitness and Lifestyle Group is closing all its creche facilities at Fitness First (predominantly based in NSW and Victoria) and Goodlife Health clubs across the country - that’s 89 gyms nationwide - stating that a steep decline in attendance has “rendered the service unsustainable”.

The ongoing effects of the pandemic on the health and fitness industry were also cited as a factor in the transition, which has seen the usage of the childminding service decrease by up to 60 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels.

Sad News For Parents

Parents who did rely on the service have been left devastated and scrambling to find a replacement so they can maintain their fitness routines. Mums, in particular, are rallying against the move as they rely on the service to stay healthy and heal their bodies after childbirth.

One mum has even started a Change.org petition to keep the crèches open, sharing how the service has been life-changing in helping her manage her mental and physical health.

“Closing this service will come at the cost of the health and wellbeing of so many parents.” Kate McMahon stated in her petition, which has already garnered over 7,000 signatures.

Many parents purchased Fitness First Memberships especially for the creche service and have been frustrated further by the lack of communication. Changes to their membership were only shared via signs posted at the gym or on social media.

A spate of Fitness First gym membership cancellations is set to ensue now that access to a childminding service is no longer a benefit.

ellaslist has reached out to Fitness First for comment and is awaiting reply. 

Need a Gym or Fitness Group with a Crèche? Here are five to try in Sydney right now!

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