Frequently Asked Questions

Who runs the West Side Play Space?


West Side Play Space is an all-volunteer run cooperative that is overseen by a Governing Board of member-volunteers. To operate as a cooperative, WSPS has a MANDATORY VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENT. Traditionally each family is required to cover ONE SHIFT PER MONTH during open hours. Shift lengths are about 1.5 hours on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends. As a cooperative, there is also the expectation that members, as they are able, will jump in to fill last minute open shifts, volunteer during events and scheduled work days, and step forward to join a committee.




Do I need to be a Providence or West Side resident to be a member?


No. WSPS membership is open to the general public, we welcome residents of the west side and beyond to join our cooperative and community of families.




Will WSPS be closed for inclement weather?


Check out facebook page for up-to-date information about weather related closings.




What determines WSPS regular hours?


In years past, because we are entirely member-operated, the number of hours we are open is determined by the number of volunteer shifts that can be covered. As we grow our membership, we hope to be able to expand our open hours.




Where does my membership fee go?


WSPS membership fees go entirely back into the organization’s operations. Membership fees and grants are used for purchasing supplies and equipment, insurance coverage, maintenance of facilities, special programming and events, and subsidized memberships.




What's the difference between a membership and a drop-in?


WSPS members pay a nominal fee for the season and need to fulfill a small volunteer requirement. Members are allowed UNLIMITED access to the playspace during open hours and can attend special programs for free or a discounted rate. Families that drop-in to play must pay $10 for the 1st child and $2 dollars for each additional child. If you decide to join WSPS, the cost of your drop-in session can be credited toward a full membership.




Can I drop off my child(ren) to play at WSPS?


No. All children must be accompanied by a registered caregiver AT ALL TIMES.




Is food for sale at WSPS?


No. WSPS does not sell food.




Is food allowed at WSPS?


Yes. To help us keep our space clean, families are asked to keep food and drinks in the designated eating areas, and to clean up and wipe down tables after eating.




Is there a place to park strollers?


We love our walkable west side neighborhood and have lots of space to park strollers in the hallway outside our playrooms.




Where do I change diapers?


Diapers can be changed in the restroom down the hall from WSPS.




Is there a lactation room at WSPS?


There is a quiet, private space designated for nursing mothers.




How can I keep WSPS clean and organized?


Adults and children are asked to remove shoes and boots before entering the play rooms at West Side Play Space. This practice helps keep our floors, equipment and mats clean. A "Taster's Choice" bin is available for toys that have been mouthed and will be cleaned on a regular basis as part of a volunteer shift. When you leave, please encourage your child(ren) to put back any toys, books, or craft supplies they have played with.




How old should my child(ren) be to play at WSPS?


There is no strict age limit, however the materials and toys are designed for crawlers to early elementary school aged children. If your older child comes with you to WSPS, please ensure that they refrain from using equipment that is designed for younger children and that they are not being overly physical in an area where younger children are playing. Older children can be great helpers to preschoolers by assisting with blocks, puzzles, and other more advanced activities. WSPS reserves the right, however, to ask members to leave the space if the above guidelines are not followed. In the case of repeated problems, membership may be revoked. Throughout the season, there will be programming for children of all ages.




Can my babysitter/ other caregiver bring my child(ren) to WSPS?


Yes. The babysitter/caregiver must be an adult and must accompany and supervise your child(ren) at all times. In addition, the caregiver must be able to provide the name of the primary contact in the system to ensure the family is registered. Please include the name(s) of your babysitter(s) on your enrollment form.




What is the policy for sick children?


Parents and caregivers are asked to use good judgment when bringing children to WSPS. Please do not bring a child to WSPS if they have had a fever in the past 24 hours or have a contagious illness.




How do I sign up for a volunteer shift?


In the past, volunteers have used Sign Up Genius to sign up for a volunteer shift. Please stay tuned for more information about our volunteer produres and policies for the 2019-2020 season.




What do I have to do during my volunteer shift?


Volunteering is easy! During your volunteer shift you will check in each family, monitor the safety of each room, periodically pick up toys and materials, and most of all have fun! Stay tuned for more details about our volunteer procedures and policies for the 2019-2020 season.




How can I help WSPS grow?


Like us on facebook! Invite your friends! As a program of the WBNA, a non-profit organization, WSPS gladly accepts donations of money, toys and volunteer assistance. WSPS is always looking for new funding opportunities through grants and other means, and appreciates learning about these from our members and partners.





70 Union Avenue, Providence, RI

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