Nursery Policies (Volunteer Training Nugget #1)

Barbara Graves —  February 15, 2011

The nursery is an vital part of your children’s ministry and your church. A clean, safe, loving nursery will be a huge factor in drawing families to your church. Parents want to be able to worship knowing their child is safe and well cared for. In order to accomplish this, it is imperative that you establish and maintain policies and procedures for your nursery.

As with any part of your church, it is important that in the training process, your nursery volunteers can see how the vision and mission of your nursery line up with that of the church. Children learn the most in the first 5 years of their life. What an opportunity to help them know how much they are loved by their Heavenly Father!

Nursery training can be divided into two categories; policies and procedures. Policies are generally the rules, the reasons why you operate your nursery in the manner that you do. Procedures are the actual ways that you carry out your policies; they are the way that you do things. Procedures are the hows; policies are the whys. As with any training materials, these are some guidelines or samples. Every resource you bring into your ministry needs to be edited to fit the dynamics of your church, your people, your facility and your resources. These are some basic areas to address in your nursery policies:

–All nursery staff will have completed the church application process, including a background check.
–Child to Volunteer ratio is recommended to be 3:1 or 4:1, with a minimum of two adults scheduled for all services.
–Minimum age for serving in the nursery is 16.
–The same staff should serve the same service as consistently as possible. This builds confidence in the child and parents.
–Wellness: Children who show signs of illness shouldn’t be brought to the nursery. These signs would include:

  • Fever
  • Common cold
  • Cloudy or green runny nose
  • Persistent cough
  • Sore throat
  • Childhood diseases; mumps, chicken pox, strep throat or any other contagious disease
  • Unknown rash
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pink eye

–To avoid issues with allergies, children will only be given their own labeled bottles/ the snacks provided by the church. We cannot share snacks from one child with another.

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.