For God so loved the world . . . (John 3:16)
So Loved Ministry Vision
Church Member Volunteers
Sunday Morning "So-Loved" Nursery Ministry at Glance
Caterpillars: 6 weeks until walking
Preschool Sunday At-a-Glance
We pray that after spending time around our nursery, you and your children will know you are “So Loved."
Frequently Asked Questions:
Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience here. In order to achieve this goal, we utilize volunteers to assist Room Mothers. We strive to find and train those called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers are asked to serve one hour, 1-2 times per month.
Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, the child is removed from other children and a parent is notified.
Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should remain at home when any of the following conditions exist:
- Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
- Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
- Common cold from onset through one week
- Sore throat
- Earache or any discharge from the ears
- Fifth disease
- Any unexplained rash
- Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
- Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
- Head lice
- Any communicable disease
We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering a nursery/classroom. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.” Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.
There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care.
Additional safeguards are as follows:
- Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.
- No food or beverages are to be brought into the So Loved hall or classrooms except those provided for baby feedings or as arranged and provided on an individual basis.
- Please ensure that older children/siblings do not carry food or drinks into the So Loved hall and classrooms.
- Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
- All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
- No staff member is ever alone with a child in a private space.
- No one is to be alone in a bathroom with a child at any time.
- Children's Ministry staff and volunteers are to report to authorities any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which they have knowledge within the scope of their duties.
Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant and toddler nurseries on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer Cheerios or Gerber Puffs. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.
Toddlers – Kindergarten – We offer only nut-free snacks such as goldfish crackers and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.
If your child is allergic to Gerber Puffs or goldfish crackers, please provide a dry snack (nut-free) each week labeled with their name.
Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).
Discipline is necessary:
- To prevent harm
- To protect health
- To establish healthy boundaries
- To provide emotional security
Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline shows the children how to behave in a social environment. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide excellent ratios of adults to children in our classrooms, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require a "cool down time" stepping back from the group with an adult. The child is encouraged to use their wordsand actions in positive ways. No corporal punishment will be used. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Coordinator and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Coordinator will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.
Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.
For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.
Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:
- The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
- The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
- The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
- A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
- We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
- We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
- We make special efforts to protect potential victims.
We try to make every effort to extinguish biting behavior quickly. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.
In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:
- Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
- A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
- Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
- All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
- If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
- Designated staff will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
- Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
- Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
- Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child