Parents who need a few hours for themselves at the last second can't take their toddlers to conventional daycare centers. But they can take them to the new Playcare program launched by Sugar Buzz in Broad Ripple.
Longtime pals Wendy Reed and Pam Weaver are the brains behind the concept aimed at parents who might need time to shop, work out or attend a meeting.
Unlike traditional child care services, however, there are no upfront contracts or commitments. Instead, Playcare is a program parents can use on an as-needed basis. Stay-at-home parents and those who juggle children with work are finding it especially attractive, Weaver said.
"There is really no place in town for parents to drop their kids off for just a couple of hours," she said. "Every time I hear a parent in a changing room with a small child, I walk over and hand them a brochure."
To help spread the word, Sugar Buzz has cross-promotion agreements with health clubs such as Curves and the Riviera Club.
Reed, 45, fronts local bands First Impression and The Wendy Reed Band, and is the former owner of Artzy Phartzy, a longtime Broad Ripple fixture. She closed the kids' activity shop in 2001 after it became too difficult to juggle parenting with business. She then turned her attention to Sugar Buzz, a weekend party provider.
Meanwhile, Weaver's idea for a children's drop-off site began to materialize when Reed lamented that her Sugar Buzz space at 1430 Broad Ripple Ave. went unused much of the week. Playcare opened in August.
Weaver, 44, is a Web developer who left corporate America after having her first child five years ago. Now she is co-owner of Sugar Buzz and helps staff the Playcare program.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. Reservations are required on weekends. Prices are cheaper for multiple children and range from as low as $3.50 an hour to as high as $9. Children from 18 months to 12 years can stay from 30 minutes to 10 hours.
Most of the activities involve arts and crafts. The lone television is turned on only to show videos of children's yoga. For security purposes, photos are taken of the children and parents and stored in a database.
The business partners are so encouraged by the response that they already are exploring locations in Carmel and Fishers, and may franchise the concept.
Wendy Reed, left, and Pam Weaver are putting a twist on daycare with Sugar Buzz.