Veteran of children's ministry Dale Hudson offers great tips on a great nursery program.
We are finishing up the remodeling of our church nursery. It has been such a fun project for me. I love the nursery. There is nothing more precious to me than walking through our nursery on the weekends.
What are some of the keys to an excellent nursery? Here are my top ten tips for creating a loving and nurturing environment for the little ones.
- It should look, smell, and sparkle with cleanliness.
- This means weekly cleaning, disinfecting toys after every service, washing sheets, etc.
- This starts with your nursery director. This person will set the tone for your nursery. The director should be someone with a pleasant personality. Someone who stays calm and collected even when children are crying at their highest decibels. Someone who connects well with parents and has experience as the parent of small children.
- There will be crying. There will be times when a child is not having a good day. There will be days when a child is having separation anxiety. But sanity can still be attained. Bubble blowers, an aquarium, and other techniques can be used to keep things sane.
- Have proper adult to child ratios. This is vital. We strive for 1 adult for every child. It’s a lot easier for a volunteer to keep things sane when they are placed in a proper ratio.
- Create an environment where parents feel comfortable leaving their most precious possession.
- Security tags. Children are only released to the person who checked them in and has the matching security tag.
- Only people who have been through an interview and background check process are allowed to serve.
- Only females are allowed to change diapers.
- Have security cameras in every room.
- Never allow a volunteer to be alone with a child. No exceptions. If you don’t have two volunteers, then don’t open the room.
- We have a police officer stationed in the nursery hallway. You can never be too secure. Parents will notice and appreciate it.
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