NURSERY POLICIES General 1. The mission of our nursery is to provide a safe, caring, and inviting environment for children, to ensure that their church times are joyful, and to provide a foundation for their developing faith. 2. Nursery care is available for infants, toddlers, and children under four years old. 3. The nursery will be open during every Sunday morning worship service. 4. The nursery will open 15 minutes before the 10:30 am worship service. Children may be dropped off and picked up throughout the service. Children should be picked up from the nursery by NOON. 5. Sick children/volunteers and children/volunteers who have recently been sick are not allowed in the nursery. This policy is very important for keeping our children safe and healthy. Please keep your child at home if he or she exhibits any of the following symptoms: a. Fever within the last 24 hours b. Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the last 24 hours c. Any symptoms of childhood diseases such as scarlet fever, measles, mumps, chicken pocks, or whooping cough d. Runny nose with any colored discharge e. Sore throat f. Any unexplained or contagious rash g. Any skin infection h. Pink eye and other eye infections i. Head lice (children should be free of all nits) 6. In general, the baby area is behind the back wall of the nursery; toddlers play in the main room. Nursery volunteers will move babies back and forth as they deem necessary for caring for all children’s needs. 7. Four volunteers will be assigned to the nursery each Sunday. At least one volunteer will focus exclusively on babies; another will focus exclusively on toddlers. A third volunteer will move back and forth as they deem necessary for the number of children present. The fourth volunteer will be “on call” throughout the worship service, available to help as necessary. Parents 8. Parents of children who regularly attend AWPC nursery care should fill out a registration form for each participating child. Where indicated, parents must include a list of all persons authorized to retrieve their child from the nursery. 9. Parents will be issued a numbered ticket when they drop off their child. Children will not, under any circumstances, be released to an adult who cannot present this numbered ticket to nursery
personnel or verify that they are listed as an authorized guardian on the child’s registration form . 10. If needed, parents will be located during the service via a cell phone number that they leave with the nursery at check-in. Parents with children in the nursery should keep cell phones on vibrate and in a place where they will be noticed if the nursery is calling (numbered tickets will be labeled with the cell phone number of the lead nursery volunteer so that parents will recognize the call). 11. At check in, parents are responsible for communicating special needs (including when and how to give bottles to babies) to nursery volunteers by writing them down on the check-in sheet and by telling the nursery greeter. 12. All toys, bottles, extra clothes and diaper bags dropped off with a child should be clearly labeled with the child’s name. Parents are responsible for collecting these items when they pick up their child. 13. Parents may come into the nursery to check on and/or feed children. Volunteers 14. Before serving in our children's ministry, all volunteers must complete an application form and be approved for child care by the nursery/children's ministry teams and/or Walter Henegar. As part of this process, volunteers must undergo a criminal background check. Background checks will include identity verification, state/county criminal checks for states where the applicant has lived, and a sex offender check. To ensure a safe environment for our children, individuals who have been arrested and/or convicted for any criminal act (excepting minor traffic violations) will not be allowed to volunteer in the nursery or children’s ministry at Atlanta Westside without approval by the church’s temporary session of elders. The temporary session will consider the relevant facts and circumstances of each case in determining whether or not to approve individuals for service. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no individual who has been convicted of a crime related to the well-being of children, or has an arrest pending for a crime related to the well-being of children will be approved. All decisions of the temporary session will be final. 15. Babies should be held as much as possible. If they are content to sit in a Boppy, swing, Exersaucer or other seat and “entertain” themselves for a bit, this is good for their development. However, appropriate physical touch is equally important for their sense of security and general development. 16. The nursery committee will do everything possible to maintain a ratio of 1 volunteer for every 3 children in the nursery. Nursery volunteers will work in the nursery a maximum of one time per month. Volunteers may include parents and/or teenagers. Scheduled nursery volunteers who cannot serve on their appointed day for any reason are responsible for finding their own replacement. 17. Nursery volunteers should arrive at the nursery room no later than 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. 18. Nursery volunteers should clean toys that babies put in their mouth as often as possible during nursery time. 19. Children should be checked for soiled diapers every half hour unless a dirty diaper is otherwise noticeable.
20. Only specifically authorized nursery personnel are permitted to change diapers. One so authorized nursery volunteer will be present in the nursery each Sunday. Parent volunteers who are not officially authorized should not change diapers unless it is their own child. Authorized nursery personnel should follow the following procedure for diaper changing: a. Put on gloves and make sure changing surface has clean paper. b. Place child on safe changing surface. c. Remove soiled diaper, clean, apply diaper cream if necessary. d. Put on new diaper and return child to play. e. Place soiled diaper and gloves in plastic bag, seal or tie the bag and place in trash along with paper. f. Put clean paper on changing station for next child. 21. Nursery volunteers should provide a snack of juice and crackers to children whose parents have authorized a snack between 11:00-11:15 a.m. 22. After each service, nursery volunteers are responsible for thoroughly cleaning nursery toys and baby gear and for returning the room to the condition they found it in when they arrived. All nursery supplies should be stored behind the back wall on the left of the nursery (next to the bathroom). 23. All donated nursery equipment will be inspected for safety and sanitized by the nursery team before being used in the nursery. 24. The nursery team will wash cloth nursery toys quarterly. Cloth toys that have been soiled will be immediately removed from children and washed before the next Sunday. 25. The nursery team will be responsible for keeping the nursery stocked with extra diapers and wipes and clean changing pad paper. 26. Children are allowed to help nursery volunteers, but are not permitted to hold babies. Finally, THANK YOU to our parents, volunteers, and precious children, who make the nursery a joyful and safe place to spend Sunday mornings. You are doing a vital and appreciated service to the Lord in our church. If you have further questions about the nursery, please contact Melissa Debardeleben at Melissa@atlantawestside.org or Elisabeth Irwin at Elisabeth@atlantawestside.org.