Policies & Procedures for Nursery/ Preschool

2014 Nursery/Pre-school Policies & Procedures

Parents

In order to best serve your family and members of The Way, here are the church nursery policies and procedures as approved by church elders.

We as a church body are looking to serve families of The Way to the best of our abilities therefore, we ask that parents with children attending the nursery/pre-school program during the service, serve on a rotating basis in the nursery facilities. This includes members and regular attendees of The Way. Due to our ratio of care-takers to children, we prefer that when a child reaches kindergarten, they attend the service with their parents. While they are in kindergarten we will be flexible as they learn how to sit with their parents in “grown-up” church. Once a child is attending first grade we require that the child then attends the service with their parents on a regular basis.

Arrival and Pick-Up Procedures

We urge parents to closely supervise their children when they are not under the care of a teacher or other adult at church. The following policies are of the utmost importance in keeping children safe.

General Procedures for ALL Children (Infants -  5th Grade)

  • Every child should always be under the direct supervision of an adult. When your child is not in a class with a teacher, please keep him/her under your care and watchful eye.
  • Parents bringing their children to the church facilities MUST remain on the premises while the children are under the church’s care.
  • Your child’s teacher should always know where to locate you during the services.
  • A child should not be left in a classroom unless a teacher is present to receive the child.
  • Parents should be prompt in picking up a child after a service.

Pre-schoolers and Infants

  • Parents should sign in the child and make sure a teacher has a cell phone number in in the nursery so that we may text/call you during service if your child needs your attention. Because we do not have pagers, this allows all nursery staff to remain with the other children in the nursery in the event that we do need to contact you.
  • Allergy alerts should be communicated and noted to all workers in that child’s environment.
  • Infants/Pre-schoolers are received 15 minutes before the service and should be picked up IMMEDIATELY following each church service.
  • To ensure the safety of Pre-schoolers and infants, parents should knock at the door and wait for a teacher to receive a child.
  • To minimize separation anxiety, parents are encouraged to say goodbye and leave promptly.
  • Please be sure that your Pre-schooler/infant is dry and clean when you drop him/her off. If not, please offer your assistance to the teacher and take care of your child’s needs before you leave the classroom.
  • We request that only one adult drop-off and pick-up Pre-schoolers/infants. This greatly reduces congestion of the adults and creates a more secure and sanitary area for our children.
  • Anyone under the age of 15, MAY NOT drop-off, pick-up, or enter rooms of the infants/pre-schoolers unless assigned as the nursery help for that day.
  • If someone other than a parent will be picking up the child after the service, the teacher must have this information in written form on sign-in of the child, and the person must follow proper pick-up procedures. If this does not occur, the child WILL NOT be dismissed to that person.

Wellness Policy

In consideration of other children and adult volunteers, please do not bring a child to the pre-school or infant area who has shown signs of illness within the last 24 hours. The following list of symptoms will determine if a child should not be admitted to our care:

  • Persistent coughing
  • Fever (over 100)
  • Persistent sneezing
  • Runny nose and/or eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual fatigue and irritability
  • Inflamed throat
  • Complaints of stomachache
  • Earaches
  • Any discolored nasal discharge
  • Swollen Glands
  • Diarrhea (2 or more loose bowel movements)
  • Rash (except diaper rash)

If a child shows signs of any of the symptoms while in our care, the child’s parents will be notified to come care for the child. (In the case of children with seasonal allergies who might exhibit some of the above symptoms, exceptions will be made.) Our desire is to protect all children and teachers from exposure to illness. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining a healthy environment.

Statement About Medications

If your child needs any medications at all, it MUST be administered by the parent.

Items to bring (or not bring) to Church

For Infants:

  • All items brought to church with the child should be clearly labeled with the child’s name. This includes diaper bags, bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups, outer clothing, etc.
  • Bottles and sippy cups should be unbreakable.
  • Parents of diaper wearing children should provide at least 3 diapers and a package of wipes, for the time that the child will be in church workers care.
  • If you would like ointment or powder used when diapering your child, please provide it in your diaper bag and inform the teacher.
  • Be sure there is always an extra change of clothes WITH your child in case of an accident.

For Pre-schoolers

  • All items brought into the pre-school area should be clearly labeled with the child’s name. This includes diaper bags, sippy cups, outer clothing, etc.
  • Toys SHOULD NOT be brought to church unless specifically requested by the teacher. If your child brings a toy from home, we ask you to please keep it with you(the parent) or in the car until after the service.
  • Please be sure there is an extra change of clothes WITH your child in case of an accident.

Food and Feeding Guidelines

For Infants through 18 months years of age

  • Bottles should be pre-measured with water and formula.
  • Please label each bottle clearly with your child’s name. Tape will be available for labeling if not done prior to church.
  • Crackers or pretzels occasionally will be served to this age group. Please notify teachers if you prefer that your child eat only food brought in his/her bag.
  • If your child is on a schedule, we are glad to feed him/her jar food AS TIME AND STAFFING allows. Please be understanding if timing is adjusted slightly due to a busy morning or full nursery.

For ages 18 months through 4 years

  • Crackers or pretzels occasionally will be served to this age group, as well as water.

Allergy Situations

  • All children with allergies of any type should have an allergy alert information sheet, completed and kept up to date.
  • It is the parents responsibility to inform the teachers about a child’s allergy. Do this through verbal communication, as well as the allergy alert information sheet.
  • We are an “allergy aware/no peanut” zone. We will not serve any foods containing peanuts or peanut products in the nursery/pre-school areas. NOTE: We cannot control what other people bring onto the church campus.
  • If an infant/pre-schooler has an epi-pen, it is the parent’s responsibility to inform the Children’s Ministry staff and volunteers through verbal communication in addition to the allergy information sheet about the location, use, and specific instructions for an allergic reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Because leaving a child in childcare can sometimes be stressful, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help address questions or concerns you may have.

What do I do if I have a concern about my child’s care?

Please let your child’s teacher know of any concerns you have with your child’s care. If there is a problem, we need your suggestions! It may be easier to share your concerns on the phone or by email after you get home rather than with the children in tow. You may also contact the nursery coordinator, Kristi Dollar, at 931-896-6970 or via email at 6dollars1998@gmail.com

What if my child cries when I drop him/her off?

If your child begins to cry, give him/her a hug and walk out the door. This is a hard thing to do, but most of the time, a child stops crying as soon as the parent leaves. If you allow the workers to do their job, it will help the child adjust to the room. If your child continues to cry for more than 10 minutes, the teacher will let you know via text message at the phone number you provided.

What do I do if my child cries while in their classroom?

Be assured that not all children cry when their mothers/fathers leave them. However, should your child cry,we encourage you to give the teachers a chance to settle them. If they still don’t settle down, here are the actions that would follow: We require workers to inform you when your child has been consistently crying for 10 minutes. At that time we would like you to care for your child as one upset child leads to other children becoming unsettled. At this time we would like to remind you that there is a “cry room” available at the back of the sanctuary for your convenience. This room is equipped with a speaker so you can still hear the message and a box of toys so that your child will be entertained. Please feel free to utilize this room.

Can I check on my child during the service?

We ask that you do not go to check on a child. Once your child or any other child sees an adult, the whole room becomes upset. If necessary, you may peek into the window.

What if I am potty-training my child?

We promise to do the best job we can, but please remember that we are caring for multiple children. You may want to use a “pull-up” diaper on Sunday mornings just to be safe. We do have access to restrooms in our pre-school room and teachers will do their best to get your child to the potty in time. However, just in case, please pack a change of clothes for your child.

What do the children do in childcare during the service?

Children birth to 18 months, and 18 months ��" 2 years of age play, snack, and in general are loved and cared for. Children ages 3 and up have a short Bible based lesson, followed by play time.

Will my child have a snack?

All children, except infants on formula, may be given a snack (graham crackers, goldfish crackers, pretzels) during the service time. We ask that you please provide a filled sippy cup or bottle for children under the age of 3. If your child has a food allergy, we ask that you please bring a snack from home for them. REMEMBER TO LABEL ALL ITEMS!

How is discipline for older children handled?

The teacher handles discipline on an individual basis. Sometimes a stern look or verbal warning is enough. At other times, a “time-out” is necessary. When a child consistently misbehaves, the parents will be notified via text to come to the nursery area to care for their child.