Nursery Procedures (Volunteer Training Nugget #3)

Barbara Graves —  February 17, 2011

In the area of policies and procedures, the procedures are what you actually do to facilitate the service. This is the nuts and bolts of your service or your ministry. It’s how you carry out the vision that has been cast. No matter how wonderful and inspired your policy and programming are, if you don’t actually do what you say your are going to do, it will fall short of accomplishing what you mean to accomplish.

For a nursery ministry, the most important “procedure” to implement is to love the children that are brought to you for care. This first connection of being loved at God’s House often comes from those serving in the nursery. It is both a great privilege and a great responsibility.

The following list contains some sample nursery procedures. While the exact timing, or manner in which these procedures are carried out may vary, these are all areas that need to be addressed by the procedures you put in place for your nursery ministry:

Pre-service:

  • Nursery volunteers should arrive 30 mins before service time to set room and receive children.
  • Volunteers should wear their children’s ministry shirt and/or name tag each service.
  • Nursery is open to receive children 15 mins before service begins

During service:

  • When the child is checked in, his parents are given a number and a matching tag to coordinate with his belongings. If a parent is needed, call an usher to have the number appear on the screen in the service.
  • As each child is checked in, his diaper bag & any other items (all labeled) such as sippy cups, are kept together in one cubby.
  • A child may cry when a parent drops them off. Try to engage them with a toy or book.  If the crying persists past 10-15 minutes, notify the parents.
  • When a child puts down a toy that he has had in his mouth, put it in the “to be cleaned” tub until after service.

Diaper changes

  • Every child should be changed 10-15 minutes before the end of service.
  • Wash hands or use a clean pair of gloves before changing each child
  • Most parents send diapers/wipes for their child. There are supplies available in cabinet by the diaper changing area if none are in the child’s diaper bag.
  • Have everything assembled before placing the child on the changing pad.
  • Always have at least one hand on the child on the changing pad. Never step away.
  • After changing the child and returning him to play, place the dirty diaper, wipes and dirty gloves in the trash can and clean the changing pad with disinfectant.

Post-service:

  • Complete a “My Day” card for each child, indicating their diaper change, mood, snack, bottle, etc. and place the card in the child’s diaper bag just before the end of service.
  • When parents come to pick up their child, always compare the number on the name tag and the parent’s portion.
  • Cribs and pack-n-plays that are used for sleeping babies have clean linens before each service. A receiving blanket folded over the side indicates it is clean. If a child lays in the crib, the blanket is placed inside, to indicate the linen needs to be changed before another child uses that crib.
  • After service, toys that have been played with should be cleaned with the provided disinfectant and left to air dry. Swings and saucers should be wiped down with disinfecting wipes.

Barbara Graves

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Barbara is a married mother of 4 grown kids. She is the volunteer Children’s Pastor at Momentum Church in Woodstock, GA where she oversees kids from birth to 5th grade. She can often be found driving around north Georgia, usually with a cup of coffee in her hand.