Parents angry as Australian gym chain cuts childcare services

Parents angry as Australian gym chain cuts childcare services

Members of Goodlife Health clubs and Fitness First have become furious after announcing the cancellation of a very popular service across Australia.

A major Australian fitness chain has announced it is closing childcare facilities at 89 gyms nationwide, angering parents.

The Fitness and Lifestyle Group currently operates nursery facilities in the top level Fitness First and Goodlife Health clubs.

But from July 3, the gym giants will be closing the door on childcare facilities at the two gym chains, citing a “sharp drop” in attendance that “made the service unsustainable.”

The move will see all childcare staff in the fitness chain stop working from next month, although it is hoped that some will be redeployed elsewhere at work, leaving parents heartbroken.

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A spokesperson for The Fitness and Lifestyle Group told that the health and fitness industry is still recovering from the pandemic and is now in a “transitional” period that takes into account current gym habits and lifestyle.

Recovering from Covid-19 remains a huge challenge for everyone in the health club industry.

“As a company, we have seen very visible changes in member behavior since early 2020, and we have to adapt to meet the changing needs of our members.

“Unfortunately, one of the obvious changes in member behavior is the sharp drop in use of our child care service, which has fallen by 50 to 60 percent versus pre-Covid levels, making the service unsustainable.”

The spokesperson added that it was “a very difficult decision for the company”.

“We are working closely on support and redeployment opportunities for our affected team members and in providing support to our members as they adjust their routine.”

One mum who bought a black membership, which costs $34.99 a week and includes 3 babysitting sessions, at the Goodlife Health Club in Karrinyup, WA said the move was “appalling.”

“Closing the nursery would be at the expense of the health and well-being of many parents,” she said.

“I’m broke, as are all my friends, because this is going to rob us of our ability to exercise and try to stay healthy and get our bodies back.

“I am also devastated because all my beloved nursery workers will be out of work.”

She explained that many members discovered the change in their memberships through a banner posted in the gym or on social media, describing it as a “blow in the teeth” for women juggling childcare and work.

“A friend sent me a picture of the sign, asking me ‘Is this real?’” ” She said.

“The fact that they didn’t transmit anything is ridiculous.”

She also stated that the childcare facility at her local club was always crowded, with at least 16-20 children inside at any one time.

“It’s very devastating,” she said. “I will cancel my membership, I can no longer justify the cost.”

Angry members are now also exploding in the comments section of a recent post on Goodlife Health Clubs Australia’s Facebook post as news of the decision spreads.

“Shame on you to close all of Australia’s nursery facilities in GoodLife. What a bad decision. For every mother who now needs to cancel her membership, I certainly hope she plans to waive the cancellation fee,” one woman raged on Friday.

A frustrated father wrote, “Closing all of your child’s thinking areas to accommodate a Pilates studio is the dumbest business decision ever made in the history of gym ownership.”

“A lot of people (including me) have bought our memberships because of the nursery facilities. In fact, my membership has been sold on the basis that I will get 3 tickets to nurseries per week. This is absolutely wrong and misleading to sell membership and within two months we cancel one of its main components! Others to anger and disappointment.

Many have stated that they will “cancel” their memberships unless the decision is rescinded.

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