Setting up a Nursery
Setting up a Nursery
A nursery is one of the most important ministries of your church. When guest attend, they are seeking something that is appealing and safe for their children. If they do not feel comfortable with leaving their children in your nursery, they probably will not return to your church.
1. Display a well kept and clean nursery. Display bulletin board type material that is appropriate for the age group.
2. Clean toys each service. Young children tend to put toys in their mouth.
3. Provide toys, books, and puzzles that are age appropriate and in good condition. Remove all those broken toys, torn books and puzzles with missing pieces.
4. Display on the door the names of the workers for each given Sunday. Place these name also in the weekly church bulletin.
5. You can use people in your congregation as volunteers as well as responsible youth. Your Nursery Director or Children’s Pastor can set up a list on a rotation basis. Remember to have a couple backups for the no shows.
6. Be sure to do background checks for all workers. There is a free site on line that will eliminate the cost to your church.
7. Provide a sign in sheet and sign out sheet for parents. Never allow someone else other than the parent to pick a child up unless the parent has given you a written and signed note. Keep children with you until the parent personally arrives.
8. Post a weekly or monthly schedule that will take place during the time you have the children. Of course, this may vary depending on the needs of the children. Be flexible. Include: snack, free time, music, bible time, bible memory, and character story time (they love puppets at this age).
9. Encourage parents to fill out a Nursery Information Sheet regarding if you can feed their child, likes and dislikes, times of feedings, birthday, name, age, ect.
10. Do not allow children to walk around when they are eating and drinking. Kids can sit at a table at a very young age.
11. Display a chart for all volunteers to record times of diaper changes and any food that it administered. Keep a record of the dates and names of teachers and children for each service. File these.
12. If you wish, you can ask that parents provide suggested healthy snacks on a rotation basis (maybe once a month or quarter).
13. Decide on how you will contact parents in the service if needed. Usage of pagers are idea if your church can fit this into their budget.
14. Provide a simple sheet for parents on the Guidelines for the Church Nursery. This can help them feel that you care enough to provide a safe environment for their child. Include: sickness policy, drop off and pick up guidelines, procedures for contacting parents if needed, your mission for the nursery, sippy cups (other children can contact them easily), and whatever fits the needs of your church best.
15. Be early and greet children with a smile. Parents like to linger so encourage them to drop off thier child for keeping better atmosphere in the nursery among the other children. One crying child makes two.
16. Provide a place for each parent to place belongings of their child. Maybe someone in your church can build wooden boxes and attach to the wall. Be careful of bookcases that can easily be turned over for safety.
17. Be creative and change items in nursery every so often. Put some things away to bring out later. Teach kids to help put things away in proper places.
18. Have fun with your nursery kids. Allow parents to sense you love and care for their children. If they feel comfortable with their children under you care, they will be free to enjoy worship better.
19. Promote your nursery by having a “Baby Sunday”. Have a parade of all the babies 2 and under by having all the parents walk them up the aisle. Present some humorous and caring poetry or drama on babies and parents. Present a message that pertains to rearing children for the Lord or something that is relevant to the theme. Present all parents a basket filled with nice surprise for their babies and toddlers. Have someone sing a special related to the service. Show slides in the church of all the babies and activities that you have done during the year.
20. Most of all – enjoy your job as a nursery worker. There will be times you may get discouraged and become tempted to quite. Remember, you have one of the most important jobs in the church. If it was not for you, the parents would not be in church. If it was not for you, the church would be without young families worshiping God. If it was not for you, these children may never grow up knowing about the love of God. You have an important job as a nursery worker!
21. Children’s Pastor – be sure you acknowledge all workers and volunteers in the nursery. Present them a gift certificate for something special. Let them know how much they are appreciated. Send them a card on their birthday.
© Kidzministry.net February 6, 2010 Jeanne McIntosh