The following procedures take you through a nursery service, step by step. They include important details, suggestions and guidelines that are the result of YEARS of experience and prayer. You will always need to remain flexible and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, but we believe these basic ideas will prove tremendously fruitful and helpful to you. Read them over regularly, more than once!
Nursery Class: 0 – 2 year
Toddler Class: ages 2 – 4 year
Pray – Before you enter the room, make sure you and every person who enters with you has prayed and received instruction from the Nursery Director.
CD Players – Turn on soft worship or instrumental tapes. This has strong influence on the atmosphere of your room. Music affects babies and workers alike! .
Registration/Check in – Use your sign-in sheet! ONLY the Nursery Worker should receive and release child to guardian or parent. Fill in all spaces on the sheet BEFORE you take the child into the room. All conversations with the parent should be finished BEFORE taking the child. Nothing is worse than trying to get information from a parent whose child is already in the room and screaming for Mommy’s or Daddy’s attention while he/she is trying to give you information.
No sibling may sign in the child unless the sibling is 18 years or older.
While you take the information, talk to the child as well as the parent. This causes both of them to relax. When the child senses that the parent is comfortable, the child relaxes too.
Then you’ve already eliminated half the problems. Make sure bottles and pacifiers are identified with child’s name. Get all special instructions.
Every Sunday parents will be asked to sign in their child. A name tag will be placed on the child as well as their belongings. As the parent/guardian checks in their child, he/she will also fill out an information card to be put in the Nursery Database. This information/registration card will list such information as to the parents/guardian of the child and will also give the names of three other people other than the parent who may pick up the child from the nursery. A health check list must also be filled out by the parents/guardian.
Each child and parent/guardian will be assigned a laminated number upon registration/check in. This number will be flashed on the screen in the sanctuary for the parent/guardian of that child to come to the nursery/toddler room. In order for that child to be released from the nursery/toddler room, he/she must be picked by the person who checked the child in or by someone whose name is listed on the registration card. That person MUST have the matching laminated number.
Receiving Child into Room - Explain to the parent that you are going to take the child QUICKLY and that she should hand baby over, turn and step back. The result – FEAR! The child senses the parent’s hesitation and then views the worker as the alien who its trying to separate them. They begins to cry, the parent gets more nervous, and the child and parents in line all start worrying too. A chain reaction beings and children already in the room join in the crying.
For new parents especially, explaining the above will help them cooperate with you and make taking the child into the room smooth and PEACEFUL! Also, explain that many children still cry for a short while upon entering the room anyway. Let the parent know that this a “crying” chance for several weeks before they learn that it doesn’t work. If the parent still leaves them, they give up and come happily into the room. They also learn that its fun and most regular attendees are excited and anxious to get in and enjoy the service!
Only very rarely would we ever call a parent from the service for a crying child. Usually that is the goal the child hopes to accomplish by crying. We certainly do not want to teach them that crying is a successful means of getting their way. If, however, a child is crying constantly and in a manner that may cause them physical harm, we certainly would call the parent via the large screen in the sanctuary. Our preference would always be to not pull the parents from the service.
Once the Baby/Toddler is in the room – Hug the child, talk to the child, show them different pictures and point out children and workers in the room. Put him/her down
near the toy box or some other object of distraction in the room. Don’t put the child immediately into the group of other children. This tends to frighten them. Putting the child near lets he/she choose to join in at his own discretion and pace. He/she does not feel threatened, but curiosity sets in and he will quickly mix with the others.
If the child desires to remain alone and play by alone, respect that and let him/her. The main object of this time period is for the child to completely overcome fear and feel peaceful and safe in the room.
Most regular attendees no longer need this special treatment and run over immediately to join the fun. However, new attendees sometime require more consoling and hugging.
Diapers – should be changed once all babies have been received into the room. Begin at the top of the sign-in sheet. Those who were signed in first have been there the longest are probably the wettest as well. Be sure to check the correct column on the sign-up sheet as you change each baby.
Baby powder, wipes, Kleenex, and gloves are provided at the changing table. Hands of the worker and child's hands must be washed after each changing and the changing area is also to be sanitized after each child.
Please do not leave a messy diaper. Dispose of it in a plastic bag (provided at changing table area) and discard in wastebasket. Please disinfect and sanitize area after changing diaper.
Feeding Times - The toddler room will have a specific feeding/snack time. The nursery will have specific information on each child's feeding times.
Nursery Classroom Schedule - Nursery classroom will use blocks, rings baby gyms, pillows to lean on or sit up on. They will need 15 minutes of floor time activities. During
floor time the worker and helper will talk, sing, and play with the child.
Toddler Classroom Schedule -
10:30 – 11:00 am Free Play (Children will pick up the toys) Wash Hands
11:00 – 11:15 am Snack Time
11:15 – 11:30 am Lesson
11:30 – 12:00 am Craft, Game, Songs
12:00 – 12:15 pm Free Play/Video, game (Children will pick up the toys)
Pick up Time - Only the Worker should return the babies to their parents. Have any handouts or notes ready at the door to explain to the parent as they pick up their child. Be sure they know what their baby/toddler was taught and have a GOOD REPORT for them. Say something special about their child.
Take note during the classroom time of something unique or special their child said or did and share it with the parent. Even if it’s something as little as a remark to compliment their child’s outfit, be sure to say something POSITIVE about baby/toddler.
Often parents will share prayer requests or ask you to work on certain behaviors they have been noticing at home. Be encouraging and concerned. We encourage this type of relationship with the parents. It makes you a team and brings unity. Do not be hurried by a line at the door. As long as each parent gets the same undivided attention, they won’t mind the wait!
While pick up takes place, the other workers should be playing with the children and keeping them away from the door!
Final Room Check – after all children are gone, make sure the room is clean and in order:
Trash bagged and set outside the door. If you leave diapers in the room until the next service, soiled diapers will leave a tremendous odor that is not
Dirty toys (especially any that were in a child’s mouth) should be sanitize and disinfected.
Make sure all toys, puzzles, etc. are put away.
Disinfect all tables, chairs, and bouncy seats after each service.
Turn out the lights.