Family Access Update

Keeping our children & youth safe

Q: Why can’t my (9,10,11,12-year-old) stay at the Y by themselves?

A: The YMCA values your child’s safety and we want to protect our youth and do our part in preventing any risk for abuse.  We require minors under the age of 13 years of age to be with a parent, or a 16 yr. or older sibling or in our Y programs so we can improve their safety.  When parents/guardians come in to use the Y as a family, your 9 years and younger can be in our childwatch and 10-12yrs can be in the gym with our Kids in Motion staff.  This is free with Y membership and allows our trained Y staff to engage in appropriate activities with the group, while providing safe monitoring.  Youth 12 years and younger cannot be in the facility by themselves as we need parental support in keeping your children safe and preventing any risk of abuse.

Q: My child used to come there at a (8-12 yrs.) age?  What changed?

A: This is an update.  The YMCA continues to stay responsive to community, state and national actions.  Child abuse is rising across the nation, especially youth-on-youth.  We need our community to stand with the YMCA for child protection and stop child abuse. We encourage adults to educate themselves on preventing sexual abuse. Darkness to Light, is a national organization that partners with the YMCA to educate our communities. Allowing young minors to freely roam the building, entering/leaving on their own, put our youth at risk.

Q: What is there for my (8-12 yr. old) to do at the Y?

A: We have lowered our age requirement to use cardio with direct parent supervision.  Now, with direct parent supervision, 8 yr.+ can work out with their parent.  We ask the parent to help keep their child(ren) safe while monitoring their workout.  This provides more family interaction time!  If a parent cannot supervise or a child does not want to participate while parents work out, Kids in Motion is available after 3pm and free with membership.

Q: Why can’t I just pay $5 to use basketball or take a class?

A:  They YMCA values our community and strives to encourage all to become members of the Y, finding value in all that is provided.  We cannot operate on a $5 per class structure.  The Y is a nonprofit business whose mission is to serve the community, we need our members to help us operate and continue to serve the community.  Our day pass fee is for complete access to the YMCA and all amenities and benefits for the entire day.

Thank you. –  The MAHASKA COUNTY YMCA team