Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What to Expect: Church Nursery

My son has been in church nursery since he was 6-weeks-old. We were quicker than most to make the move because we both lead worship at church. In order for me to be at peace and feel secure during Sunday service, I learned to expect several things from any church nursery:

Clean Sweep – I notice how neat and clean is the place is. Does it smell like dirty diapers? Are the toys neatly stacked or are they a hazard to toddlers and adults? A clean nursery is a peaceful nursery.

Quality Staff – I heard that 3 kids per adult is a good ratio to have. I usually notice if the nursery is well staffed. If they are understaffed, I might as well not give them one more little one to worry about and hold on to my baby until the end of service.

Confident Atmosphere – It’s important to pay attention to the atmosphere: when children are crying, look at the staff. Are they in ‘emergency mode’ or are they calm, nurturing and attending to the needs of the children? Are the volunteers focused 100% on the children or are they talking to one another? A secure atmosphere brings confidence in the parents.

Feedback – It’s nice to know about what your child did while you were in service. Was their diaper changed? At what time? Did they take their bottle? I believe that churches who give a report to parents get it right. It establishes trust, professionalism and it guarantees that guests will return. I was really impressed with a church who put this form filled out in my diaper bag:
To my surprise, there was also a sticker on my son's diaper telling me what was the last time he had a diaper change. Highly impressive and helpful!


Ministry – unless ministry takes place, a church nursery may be classified as child care. Churches can make a difference when children are blessed during their stay. The staff can always pray that God will give the babies grace through teething, as they learn how to walk and that they will be a blessing for their parents. God hears and answers prayers.

I’m sure you too can add many other healthy expectations parents have for church nurseries. My prayer is that your place of worship continues to provide more than childcare; I pray they provide a ministry that loves and cares for children while blessing the parents with peace of mind.

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