Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:5
If you have never thought about your nursery being a ministry, I hope these few thoughts will change your mind! Your nursery workers may be the first contact parents (visitors) have with the church and their impressions are important. Parents want to know/feel that their most precious child will be safe and in the hands of loving and caring individuals.
1. Childcare workers – are they fully trained and background checked? Let your parents know!
- Have they been there for a long time? Celebrate that fact. (One congregation I worked in had nursery workers who were working on their 2nd and 3rd generation of babies.)
- Identify your workers by name on the nursery door and make sure the workers are also wearing a nametag?
2. How are parents met when they come into the nursery?
- Do nursery workers go and greet them at the door?
- Are the parents cheerfully met?
- Is appropriate in-take information taken on the child?
- Are diaper bags marked?
- Is a nametag placed on the child?
3. Nursery space itself – is the room clean?
- Is it well lit?
- Are all shelves dusted and the floor clean?
- Are age appropriate toys provided?
- Is there music playing?
- Is the room too crowded with “donations” or stuffed animals?
- Are the toys clean? Have an annual inspection of your facility with fresh eyes to help remove any toys that are not appropriate, defective, or has missing parts.
4. What information do you provide back to the parents?
- Are information sheets filled out and placed in the diaper bag on how their child was while in their care?
- Do you have a nursery pamphlet you can share with them about any schedule in your nursery? Do you provide story and activity time and have handouts on the story schedule? This is also a good place to have brochures or postcards on other up-coming events in the congregation.
5. Physical facility – do your workers know the space and activities of the church?
- Be sure your nursery workers know the layout of your facility and that they can direct the parents to the worship space, restrooms, or coffee. Aim for hospitality at its best.
Let’s make sure that this is true for all our nurseries and childcare areas in the church!