Former LA Fitness daycare worker speaks out

Former LA Fitness day care worker speaks out about child care concerns.

Lutz, Florida -- A mother of two who wants to remain anonymous says she once worked at the LA Fitness at State Road 54 and Collier Parkway in Lutz. The woman says she worked in the day care, known as Kids Club, part time until she was fired for eating snacks on the job, since there was a concern that children in her care might be allergic to the items.

The mother, who says she saw 10 News coverage of issues at the day care, says she wasn't surprised at the mothers' claims that the gym's day care workers seemed preoccupied, and that children became lost or hurt there. She says LA Fitness day care workers can actually earn commissions while working as collection agents when they should be watching your children.

"They're making money on past members or people who didn't pay a bill," she says.

She says the majority of the day care workers are young and inexperienced.

"A lot of texting goes on and that was a huge, huge problem."

But she admits there are a few nursery workers at the gym who do care.

Ben Stambaugh is a father of two who works out at the Lutz gym and says he couldn't be happier over the level of care his two kids receive at the gym.

"For me, it's been 100% positive. This specific location is always well staffed and it's headed by a lady -- every time we're in there it's like she's there grandmother," he says.

For the third time in a matter of two weeks, 10 News tried to get someone inside the LA Fitness to talk to us, but we were told to call their corporate office instead. For nearly a week, 10 News has had several staff members call several different numbers for the company, but we have not received a response. 10 News has also sent about a dozen emails to the company for a response as well.

The employee 10 News spoke with started working there when it was World Gym back in 2005. Then, LA Fitness bought it and she was allowed to stay on, but was fired on Jan. 17 of this year.

However, 10 News talked to another former employee off camera who made similar claims. She admits some gym members would drop off their kids when "certain people" were in charge at the day care, because they didn't trust some of the workers.

The Department of Children and Families currently regulates licensed child care facilities, licensed family day care homes, licensed large family child care homes, and licensed mildly ill facilities in 62 of the 67 counties in Florida. In addition, the Office of Child Care Regulation and Background Screening administer the registration of family day care homes not required to be licensed.


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