True North Church Kids Ministry
Nursery and preschool are now in separate rooms. For the time being, check in remains in the same location.
Please take preschool age students to the restroom prior to checking them in.
Inform volunteers in the preschool room if your child is not able to use the restroom without help.
If a child who is not potty trained needs to use the restroom, a parent or guardian will be asked to leave the service to help.
Please be sure that we have contact information for you and that your phone is kept accessible during service. If there is a restroom need for your child, volunteers may try to contact you.
If dropping off children for nursery, please leave a diaper bag with your child’s name on it. Please ensure that it includes any necessary supplies and a change of clothes inside.
Parents/Guardians are not permitted to stay in the classrooms during the service. Only volunteers with clearances should be interacting with the children.
Below are excerpts from the new Volunteer Handbook to provide further details on some of the above new policies.
Nursery vs. Preschool
How do we know what class a child should be placed into?
Every child is different and develops at a different rate, so it’s not always clear in which classroom they belong. That said, we have general guidelines in place to determine where a child belongs during service.
Elementary is any child in kindergarten or above. If they are actively in school during the school year, they should be in this class.
Preschool includes any child from age two until kindergarten.
Nursery is any child ages 0 – 23 months.
Parents of children in the Nursery will be advised that a diaper bag is strongly recommended and should be labeled with the child’s name. When the bag is dropped off, please check to see that there is a label so that we can ensure the bag is returned to the correct person. The diaper bag should include a change of clothing as well as diapers, wipes, lotion, powder or any other items needed for the child. Hooks will be installed to hang diaper bags together, so they are up and away from the children.
Volunteers in the nursery are permitted to change diapers. Diapers should first be used from the diaper bag that accompanies the child. If the diaper bag did not include diapers, we stock a variety of diaper sizes in the church for an emergency.
Sanitary wipes will be kept for hands, but volunteers are encouraged to wash hands after changing a diaper. This individual will need to use a wipe before touching door handles and then head to the bathroom to wash hands. Volunteers may not leave until the child is reclothed and no changing of diapers should be done while there is only one adult present. There will always be two adults present when changing diapers.
If there is any issue while changing a diaper or if a volunteer is uncertain about how to handle a situation, they have been instructed to reach out to the parent(s) in service for help.
Note: Back up clothing for both sexes will be kept in a bin in the classroom for emergency use.
Sometimes kids just cry. For many children in the nursery or preschool, this may be the first major social contact a child has had.
If a child is crying without stopping and the normal methods to deter them from continuing have not worked, after 15 minutes, parents will be contacted to come and pick them up. Children will be checked out of the classroom at this time. Once the child has calmed down, parents may return them to their respective classroom and re-check-in their child.
There is a very specific policy we follow at True North..
If a child needs to use the restroom, the two volunteers in preschool that are not in the preschool leader position will take the child. Volunteer 1 will take the child into the bathroom; they may aid the child (minimal contact) to be sure they are not doing something destructive or anything that could hurt themselves. The stall door is to be kept ajar, and this is where the volunteer will stay. The volunteer should not enter the stall with the child. A step stool will be available in preschool to help the child with mounting and dismounting the toilet. In addition, in replacement of a regular toilet, a potty chair is available for use.
Volunteer 2 will remain at the restroom door. Their job is to observe volunteer 1 and be a witness that their behavior is correct and proper.
No other people are permitted in the restroom while the child is using it.
Volunteer 1 is permitted to help with buttons, clasps and zippers. When helping with this, they will describe out loud what they are about to do so that this is known to volunteer 2. For example, “You need help with your pants? Ok. I can help you. I’m going to unbutton your pants. Is that ok?”
Volunteer 2 is able to see the action of volunteer 1 at all times and can hear what is going on. This double coverage protects the first volunteer from unfair accusations.
Volunteers should not lift the child to the seat.
Volunteers should not touch any intimate area of the child’s skin.
Volunteers should not help the child to lower or raise undergarments.
Volunteers should not be helping the child to wipe bottoms.
The goal is that the bathroom intervention is minimal. Volunteers may verbally help children know what to do next.
For example: “Are you done? Good job. Use the step to get down off the potty. Be careful. Did you pull up your underpants? Grab the top and pull them all the way up. Great. You did such a good job. Can you pull up your pants? I can help button them. Is that ok? …..There we go, let’s get our hands clean and go play some more.”
After the bathroom is used, Volunteers may and should help the child to wash hands and return to the children’s area.
Children should be taken to the restroom one at a time.
What if a child cannot handle this process?
If a child is unable to use the restroom themselves with minimal oversight, one of the volunteers will retrieve a parent from service to address the need. If a child is not fully potty trained, parents should inform staff when dropping off their child so that volunteers can pre-emptively retrieve the parent if there is a restroom need. If volunteers are not familiar with the child or the child is new, volunteers have been instructed to ask parent(s) whether their child is potty trained so that we can know how best to proceed. Parents are strongly encouraged to take children to the restroom before check in.