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  1. #1
    DebbieJ is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    I am on the nursery committee at my church and am in charge of reorganizing how we sign kids in and out.

    Actually, right now we don't do any sort of sign in/out. We are pretty small and we all know each other and each other's kids. But we are growing and there are visitors with kids more and more often, so we need a new system!

    All of our attendants are volunteers, therefore, there is not really any continuity from week to week. So we need a system that will help everything run smoothly.

    What does your church/temple/synagogue/place of worship do?

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  2. #2
    lukkykatt Guest

    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    The church that we used to go to had a pretty good but simple system. They had a sign-in book at a table. When you signed in, your child was assigned a number next to their name in the book. You were physically given a laminated card with that number on it. Your child was given a name tag with the number written on it as well. When you signed out the card, the volunteer made sure that the numbers matched.

    We also had a one-time child information card to fill out with allergy info, etc.

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    I have visited a number of churches recently, and they all seem to have the following in common. First, the sign-in/out sheet has a place for the parent's name, place where the parent will be during the services (only relevant if you have choices, e.g., different Sunday School classes or different worship times), the child's name, age, and any allergies/special instructions. (Some special instructions I've seen from other parents include when to give a bottle, napping information, things like "don't give juice--just give water from sippy cup in bag, etc.".) Second, there's always a place for the child's number. Even in churches that don't have an electronic screen that displays the number to alert a parent to go to the nursery, they still assign the child a number and then give the parent something with that number on it to be presented at time of check-out as a security measure. Regular attenders are assigned a permanent number, but those parents are never asked for a tag with that number when the nursery worker knows the parent.

    Lastly, the child is given some type of nametag with their number.As a parent of a child with multiple allergies, I'm especially appreciative when the nursery staff writes his allergies on his nametag because it makes me feel like they're more likely to see his allergies that way instead of just having it on the sign-in sheet.

    HTH! :) Oh, one more thing--I have been to churches where first-time visitors are asked to fill out a separate card with their address and phone number on it and an emergency contact. I actually think that's a good idea and am surprised at the number of churches who don't ask for that. However, I do understand that it's nice to make the paperwork as minimal as possible for visitors so they can get to the service on time.

  4. #4
    bluej Guest

    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    That's how the church we use to go to did it as well. I thought it was an excellent system, especially since nursery duty was done by volunteers and it wasn't likely that the volunteers 'knew' the children.

    The church we are at now has a paid position for nursery so the same person is there every week and then a few people will volunteer to help out. We sign in, put a name tag on the child and then sign out when we pick the child up. It's not as secure, but since it's the same person every week she knows the regular kids and who they belong to, so I'm not terribly bothered by it.

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    We have a scan card pg system. When you enter the childrens building you scan your child's card then you go to your child's room. The scan of the card results in a recipet being printed out in your childs room. When you drop your child off you are giving one copy of the recipt and the workers have the other copy. You are also given a pager. In order to p/u your child you must have both the pager and recipt. When you drop off your child there is also a sheet to list any instructions such as give sippy or pacifer etc.

    I go to a large church weekend attendence is about 5,000.
    Christeen

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    I can't speak to the policies of my church (no experience with the nursery yet!) but I volunteered in the nursery at my parent's church (Episcopal, small church in a large-ish but not huge city) for years. We had an all-volunteer staff as well, and we had continuity issues similar to what you are experiencing. We had a binder on a table by the door. Someone made up sheets (printed off MS Word) with lines, and columns for date, time, child's name, parents name(s), and who would be picking up the child after the service. Whoever dropped the kid off filled out the sheet.

    This was made up more for keeping track of the number of kids who used the nursery, not really so much as a security check. We didn't check IDs when the kids were picked up or anything, and we just took it on faith (no pun intended) that people were who they said they were. Like at your church, everyone pretty much knew each other and knew which kids belonged to which parents. The book worked well for us, but if your focus is more security-oriented, you might want something more extensive.

    HTH,

    Sarah

  7. #7
    Karenn is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    At the beginning of each school year parents are asked to fill out a big sheet with emergency contact information and other details.
    Each Sunday we sign in on a sheet that has the child's name, age, parents name, pager #, special needs, and location of parents (i.e. sanctuary, fellowship hall, sunday school, etc. )

    We also fill out a sheet that is a sticker that has been divided into 6 or so squares. One square has the child's name & pager # and goes on their back. There are three or four other squares where you write your child's name that are used to label diaper bags, sippy cups, etc. The last square the parents take with them as a "claim check." Each of the squares on the sticker sheet has the same number.

    Finally, each parent is sent with a pager so they can page you during the service if your child gets upset. (I LOVE this!) The pagers are numbered 1-20 or something like that so that's the number you write on the sign in sheet. They generally won't release a baby until they have the pager back. It's a good way to make sure that only authorized people are taking the baby, and that the church is getting their pagers back.

    ETA: For kids with allergies or other special needs they have bright neon stickers that also go on the back. This was a huge help when Colin was sensitive to wheat.

  8. #8
    mudder17's Avatar
    mudder17 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    Well, we're also fairly small at the moment, but we do get visitors fairly often and when they come in, the parents or nursery worker will sign them in. The rule is that only a parent (or grandparent/other careworker if they're the ones who signed them in) can take them back out. We also don't generally allow anyone who is not a parent to enter the nursery. They have to wait outside for the children.


    Eileen

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  9. #9
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    Default RE: Please share your church nursery's sign in/out procedures!

    Our church has a sign in sheet on each counter, much like the others have mentioned. Name of child, name of person signing in/picking up, location, notes to staff. We are given a numbered receipt card and MUST turn that in to pick up the child. It was decided some years ago that just knowing it was a parent, even by sight, wasn't really good enough anymore for true security. Say the parents have recently separated, kids are supposed to be with one parent but the other comes, is recognized, and takes them away...you get the idea. It can be a pain, I've learned. It took me 20 minutes to get someone to let me sign my kid out last year. DH had the card and I was unable to get it at the time, seeing as he was up front preaching and all. It wasn't like they didn't know me (um, pastor's wife??), but they did follow procedure!

    Kids with allergies/health issues have entirely different colored name tags so it can't be missed. New kids of all ages are signed in at a central location where information is collected and they are helped to class. Emergency contact info is a must in this day and age. If anything were to happen to a kid's family who would you call? Sad we have to think of it, but it's true. Along the same line your church should think through emergency exit procedures for the nurseries and be sure parents would know what to do and where to find thier children in an evacuation.
    Susan

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