Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gamblers Can Drop Bucks, Children at Complex

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gamblers Can Drop Bucks, Children at Complex

Article excerpt

The Planet 4 Kidz, which opens Tuesday evening in the Riverport Casino Center, is the St. Louis area's first child-care facility in a casino complex.

Parents pay an hourly fee to leave their children at The Planet 4 Kidz: $5 for ages six weeks to 2 years and $3.50 for ages 3 to 11. No fee is charged for youngsters 12 and older.

The Planet 4 Kidz is not in a casino; it's near the complex's main entrance, off the area that contains shops and restaurants and leads to the casinos themselves. The facility has 10,000 square feet. It's a bright area decorated with an outer-space theme. The high ceilings accommodate two climbing structures. Children can watch movies or play with a karaoke device. For additional fees, they can play laser tag or one of 65 arcade games. They can also buy pizza and other snacks. The facility has a separate area for kids 5 and under. That area is equipped with a small slide, crafts, easels and toys like Legos and Barbie Dolls. Security is a big concern at The Planet 4 Kidz. The public is not allowed general access. Owner Judy Hall said that all employees must pass a criminal record check and that their names were checked with child-abuse registries. The child and a parent must wear matching armbands, which are compared when the parent returns to pick the child up. The child's armband has a device that sets off Sensormatic equipment at the door if the child tries to leave the premises. The Planet 4 Kidz is not day care. It's an hourly drop-off service, and parents, presumably, will not leave the complex without their children. The business is not regulated by the state. But Robert Mitchell, the general manager, said the facility would match state requirements for staffing ratios of day-care centers. Missouri requ ires one adult for every four children age 2 and younger and, depending on the age mix, one adult for every eight or 10 older children. …

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