【General Questions】
There are a lot of large play structures in the gym room. Is it a safe environment to play with my children?
All Gymboree equipment has been developed based on extended research and safety testing by our headquarters in America. Our original, proprietary equipment has gone through and passed strict safety testing around the world and is now used in all of our global sites.
How do you keep your sites clean and sanitary?
Cleaning and sanitization is an important part of the staffs’ daily activities. We make sure to disinfect all equipment and props at least 2 times a day and also spray disinfectant in the air before we close the site. We perform deep cleaning on all the equipment and props every two weeks during our equipment set-up. We also strongly encourage all families to use disinfectant gel on their hands before entering our classrooms. Lastly, we have a “cleanup” box in all classrooms and in the lobby for families to put toys that have been in their child’s mouth so they can be disinfected before they are placed on the play floor again.
When families have to cancel a class because they are sick or have other plans, can they receive a make-up class?
As long as they contact us before the class starts they will receive a make-up class. We suggest making use of our convenient, 24-hour online class cancel and make-up system. We strongly encourage families who would like to cancel one of their classes to contact us by 30 minutes before the class starts. Make-up classes are valid for 3 months from the date the original class was cancelled. Children can attend any class appropriate for their age range as a make-up class. Make-up classes cannot be rescheduled.
Can families transfer to a different class at anytime?
As long as there is a space available in your desired class, transfers can be made at anytime. Families interested in transferring to a different class should speak with a staff member as soon as possible. We will check class availability and let you know when the transfer will be possible. Please keep in mind that we have waiting lists for some classes.
If we are unable to attend classes for an extended period of time, do we have to cancel our membership?
Families can take up to 3 months of suspension per year. If you hand in your suspension form, you can take up to 3 months off without cancelling your membership. We will hold your remaining make-up classes and loyalty points while you are gone. Then when you are ready to come back to classes you will be able to start where you left off.
My child is very shy and takes a long time to get used to new environments, will he/she interrupt the class?
Our teachers are there to make you and your child feel comfortable so there is no need to worry. Many children cry when they are in a new environment. Coming every week to the same class will help them get used to the environment and teacher and make it easier for them to make new friends. When children feel comfortable, they will begin to participate in the various activities and gain social skills and self-confidence they need for future schooling.
How do you handle situations where a child does not listen to the teacher and does not follow the rules?
Our teachers encourage the child to join in the activities and also explain what their parent/caregiver can do to help them participate. The specific procedure taken will depend on the child’s age and the class he/she is participating in. However, our teachers are trained to help children to learn how to play nicely with and cooperate with their peers. Children learn from watching others and begin to understand the importance of rules and listening to the teacher.
Can families with siblings participate in the same class with only one parent/caregiver?
For safety reasons, we require one parent per one child when in the gym room. Parents/caregivers can bring the younger sibling to an older child’s class if he/she is in a baby carrier. However, for safety reasons, we strongly discourage older children from joining a younger sibling’s class. We ask that older children wait in the waiting room and watch the class from outside the gym room. We encourage families with older children who are under 6 years old to attend our Family classes.
My baby just learned how to hold his/her head up. Is it too early to participate in classes?
Our classes strengthen the bonds between mother and child so the earlier you start the better. The bonds a newborn baby develops with his/her mother last a lifetime. Gymboree has teamed up with a research organization called “Zero to Three” and has spent many years studying the importance of the mother & child relationship. Our classes support your child’s growth at all stages of development. In addition, our baby classes also give new mothers the opportunity to exchange information with and learn from other new mothers and 2nd time or 3rd time mothers.
Are all classes held in English?
Our teachers use English whenever possible. However, Japanese explanations are used when talking to the parents/caregivers when needed. Our teachers are native English speakers or bilingual Japanese speakers. As a rule, our classes are held mainly in English. However, our teachers use Japanese when necessary for discipline and/or when speaking to parents/caregivers. We also offer English Only classes. When speaking with children, our teachers try to use as much English as possible so the children become comfortable with the language and have fun learning the vocabulary covered in the class.
Are there any classes available for siblings to participate together?
We offer family classes which are open to children between the age of 0-6 years old. As a rule, we require one adult per child in all of our mommy and me classes. However, exceptions may be made so please ask a staff member.
At Gymboree, I have heard that teachers follow the lead of the child. However, how do you handle children who do not follow directions or listen to the teacher?
Our teachers do not force children to participate in the activities. However, they encourage children to participate by helping them understand the benefits. Our teachers do not force children to participate in the activities. However, they encourage children to participate by helping them understand the benefits.
I am worried that my child will not be able to separate from me when he/she has to go to kindergarten.
Drop-off optional classes like our School skills class will help your child gain independence in a comfortable environment and help prepare him/her for kindergarten. At Gymboree, we offer drop-off classes in addition to our regular mommy and me classes. Our class environment allows children to slowly practice separating from their parents/caregivers until they are ready to attend the entire class on their own. We also offer 2 hour and 3 hour drop-off programs for children who want to practice being away from their parents for a longer period of time.
I am worried that my child will no longer be able to attend classes when he/she enters kindergarten.
We offer a variety of after school and weekend classes for children who attend daycare or kindergarten. Attending English afterschool once a week, will give your child the opportunity to continue to practice his/her English skills in a fun, interactive environment. Our classes encourage children to use their imaginations and communicate and cooperate with their peers. Participating in the same class with the same teacher and peers every week will also help them gain self-confidence.
Can families use the Gymboree facilities outside of class?
Currently enrolled families can take advantage of our daily play gyms. Play gym times vary by site so please check the class schedule before coming for play gym.
We also offer member-only seasonal parties throughout the year. Families can also rent out our facilities on weekend afternoons for their child’s birthday party. Please ask a staff member for details if interested.
【Questions about our Programming & Teachers】
What are the benefits of participating in classes at Gymboree?
Our programming helps children develop their social, cognitive and physical skills and gain self-confidence in a fun, interactive environment. By participating in our classes, children will gain the curiosity, communication skills, cognitive and social skills needed to succeed in our global society. Our original activities encourage 1. Self-confidence, 2. Curiosity, 3. Communication skills, 4. Imagination, 5. Perseverance, and 6. Cooperation.
Is there a maximum number of students in each class?
The number of students in each class depends on your child’s age and the room size. Our maximum numbers for each class is based on safety concerns, the age of the children participating in the class and the room size. In some cases, we allow extra students in a class if it does not affect safety and class quality. As a rule, our maximum number of students for drop-off classes is 8 students. In our regular drop-off classes we have one teacher and in our preschool and after school classes we have two teachers.
Are all classes mommy and me classes?
The majority of our classes for children under 3 years old are mommy and me classes. However, we offer a preschool program for children 1.5-3 years old. We offer a variety of drop-off optional classes for children over 3 years old. This variety of programming options allows children to challenge themselves and choose the classes that most interest them.
Given that the classes are held in English, is it OK if parents/caregivers cannot speak English?
Of course it is OK. There is no need to worry. All of our teachers (even our native English speaking teachers) can speak Japanese and are available to explain or speak with parents/caregivers in Japanese.
It is my child’s first exposure to English. Is that going to be a problem?
Definitely not. Children have no trouble picking up new vocabulary and following what their teacher and peers are doing. Participating in classes will be a great way for your child to pick up English vocabulary in a fun, non-pressured environment. They will soon gain enough confidence to speak with their friends and teacher in English.
My child still has trouble speaking Japanese, is it OK to add English as well?
The earlier your child is exposed to English the easier it will be for him/her to pick up the language. The earlier your child is exposed to English the easier it will be for him/her to pick up the language.
Will my child’s teacher change if we transfer to a different program?
Each teacher is trained in a variety of programs (gym, music, school skills, etc.) so sometimes it is possible to keep the same teacher and change programs. Although it is nice for your child to get used to one teacher and stay with him/her, it is also important that children have the opportunity to experience a variety of teachers and personalities. Please take advantage of our flexible make-up class system to try out new classes and new teachers.
Can we use the play gym whenever we want to?
Currently enrolled members can use our play gyms daily. Customers who are currently attending classes can participate in our daily play gyms (often held around lunch time and in the late afternoon). Children are free to explore and practice activities performed in class on our challenging equipment in a safe, indoor environment. It is also a great opportunity for children to play with children of mixed ages and backgrounds and parents/caregivers to communicate with other parents/caregivers from around the world.
What countries do Gymboree teachers come from?
Our non-Japanese teachers come from English speaking countries including America, Canada, the UK and Australia. We also hire Japanese bilingual teachers who have studied and lived abroad while they were young. As a result, members can experience a wide range of cultures and learn more about our global society by attending classes and play gyms at Gymboree.
What type of training do teachers attend?
All of our teachers go through our very intensive training program developed by our headquarters in the US (San Francisco). All of our teachers go through our very intensive training program developed by our headquarters in the US (San Francisco).
【Questions about Free Trials and Enrollment】
How do I register for a free trial?
Please use our Free Trial Registration Form on our homepage. Please enter your desired date, site and class and enter your personal information. Then click the “send” button. We will then contact you regarding class availability. Please be aware that 2nd trials and preschool and afterschool trials are not free of charge.
Do I need to bring anything with me when I attend the free trial?
Please make sure that you and your child are wearing comfortable clothing. Also we require that adults wear socks while in the classrooms so please bring a clean pair with you. We request that children go barefoot while in the classrooms. Also, we use paint and water in our art classes so it is a good idea to wear clothes that can get dirty when trying out an art class.
Can I ask about the class and enrollment after the free trial?
After your free trial, the teacher or one of our staff will explain in detail about our programs and how to enroll. We will also hand you an updated class schedule, brochure and pricing sheet after the trial class. If you are interested, please feel free to ask for an enrollment kit. Please also feel free to ask any questions you have.
How do I enroll in a class?
Please contact your desired site by phone or email. We will confirm the class availability and help you decide your start date. Please bring your signed enrollment form and bank form when you come to your first class. (If you do not have an enrollment kit you can receive one when you get to the site and fill it out there.) At the time of enrollment, we will receive the first payment (membership fee, annual fee and the class fees for the first month of classes) in CASH. The class fees for the following months of classes will be paid by bank withdrawal so please be prepared to fill out the bank form when you enroll.
Can I enroll at any time?
As long as there is availability in the class, new members can start anytime. If your desired class is full, we may request that you choose another class for the time being until your desired class is available. Since our class fees are charged monthly, the amount paid for your first month will depend on which week you start classes.
Join us for a free trial class