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.
Thatcher Bennett 9/01
Ava Grace 9/07