The staff at Proctors had all been thinking it, but no one really said it aloud.
It’s not as though the radio and television ads for Broadway hits “Jersey Boys” or “Memphis” weren’t drawing parents to shows. It was just that some of the parents who wanted to catch a show at the Schenectady landmark couldn’t make it because of babysitting issues.
Finally, someone voiced the interesting idea they had all been pondering: What about a program that allows parents to drop their children off at a safe place before a show and pick them up afterward?
“It’s one of those great, anecdotal, who thought of this first type of conversations,” said Proctors Marketing Director Richard Lovrich. “Some people have asked in the past for this service that has never been done by anybody. But we simply didn’t have the right credentialed space for it.”
But with the help of the Schenectady YMCA, Proctor’s is now able to offer a new program that can do just that. YMCA Parents Time Out allows parents to sign up for childcare at the Schenectady branch of the Capital District YMCA, right across the street, while they attend a performance at Proctors.
When purchasing tickets, patrons have the option to complete paperwork that will allow them to drop their kids off before the show. The program will first be offered for “Memphis” performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“One of our problems in the building was we never knew if we would have space months in advance, so we just couldn’t put the pieces together,” said Lovrich. “But with the YMCA and what they’re capable of doing for us, it just seemed like something that we should absolutely try.”
Lovrich said the program will be announced on a show-by-show basis.
The program is one patrons have asked for, Proctors CEO Philip Morris said in a news release. But because of the sensitivity and security issues involved in child care services, Proctors moved carefully before adopting the program.
“Our positive relationship with the Schenectady YMCA made the launch of this program feasible,” he said. “For Proctors, the program is another example of the community spirit and teamwork that are the hallmarks of a new, revitalized and forward-thinking downtown Schenectady.”
The YMCA care providers are state-certified, with age-appropriate training in CPR and first aid. Kids will be able to participate in sports, games or simply watch a movie while their parents attend a show.
YMCA Director of Youth and Teen Programs Kevin Kuon said the Schenectady branch is glad to partner with Proctors on the program.
“Keeping kids actively engaged in a safe environment is key to our mission at the Y, as is strengthening our community through partnerships with others,” he said.
The Parents Time Out program runs for four hours, starting an hour before show time. The cost is $15 per child, with a sibling discount of 15 percent.
A registration form must be completed and sent to the YMCA 48 hours before the performance date. Forms can be accessed and submitted online at www.proctors.org or by email to [email protected] Participants are required to sign their form when dropping off a child.
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