HYGIENE PRACTICES AND POLICIES
A child’s feeling of protection comes from a healthy environment.
eaching and ministering to preschoolers and children includes providing a clean and orderly
environment where the child can explore, create, learn, and play. Promoting good hygiene
procedures is essential in order to provide protection from, exposure to, and the spread of infectious
diseases. Being aware of cleaning procedures and hygiene practices and policies protects and
insures the health, safety, and well being of preschooloers, children, their families and the church.
ecause preschool and children’s rooms are used frequently and by different groups, the following
hygiene standards are recommended. These standards insure that the toys and equipment in
every room are ready for use at any time, teachers and children are protected from disease and
injury, and the church is protected in the event of an injury, accident, or spead of infectious
I. General Procedures and Practices in Rooms
Both preschool and children’s teachers, paid or volunteer, are required to attend an
orientation and recieve instructions in proper handwashing, uses of gloves, and
diapering techiniques applicable to their age group.
Teachers will be instructed as how to respond to emergency injuries and illnesses as
well as how to clean and disinfect materials, toys, equipment, and rooms.
All teachers will wash their hands using the “Handwashing Procedures” (in this
document) when they enter a classroom.
Teachers of infants and one-year-olds will wear smocks while teaching.
Bleach water solution (recipe in this document) will be prepared for disinfecting cribs
toys, and equipment during a session and at the end of each session.
Bleach water solution will be usedalso to disinfect cribs, eating tables, areas where food is
handled, toileting areas, toys, and teaching materials.
All rooms are kept orderly and clean, disinfecting as needed throughout older age
RECIPE FOR BLEACH WATER DISINFECTING SOLUTION
1/4 cup bleach OR 1 tablespoon bleach
1 gallon of cool water 1 quart cool water
the bleach water solution out of the presence of children. Add the household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to the water.
Mix fresh for each session. Change the solution at least once during a two-hour session.
: One of the most commonly used
solutions for disinfecting in the childcare setting is the homemade solution of household bleach and water. It is easy to mix, nontoxic, safe (if
handled properly) and kills most infectious agents.
: Keep bleach solution and bleach out of the reach of children. Mix bleach
solution with tap water outside the room and away from the children. Discard any unused bleach solution at the end of each session. Store
bleach in a locked closet away from the children’s area.
SUGGESTED CLEANING PROCEDURES FOR CRIBS, EQUIPMENT
AND TEACHING MATERIALS
Avoid the use of stuffed animals and fabric toys as they cannot be cleaned after a child
After removing sheet, clean crib rails and crib mattress by washing in warm soapy
water, rinisng in clear water, and disinfecting with bleach solution. Dry chrome crib
rails with disposable towel to prevent rusting. Let mattress air dry.
Throughout the session disinfect eating areas, toilet seats, and toileting areas (using
same method as described above) after each use.
Designate one crib for each individual baby during a session.
After each session, clean toys and teaching materials in babies through three-year-old
rooms, scrubbing materials in soapy water, rinsing in clear water, disinfecting in
bleach solution and leaving to air dry.
Clean and disinfect mouthed toys and materials after each child’s use. Wash in soapy
water, rinse in clear water, and dip in bleach solution. Leave to air dry.
Disinfect plastic dolls after each session. Dolls with hair should not be used, as the
hair cannot withstand the disinfecting solution.
Wash homeliving dress-up clothes, doll clothes or other fabric items regularly.
Avoid the use of hats, caps, and headscarves unless they can be disinfected after each
II. Diapering and Toileting
Check diapers at 30-minute intervals.
Change babies in their own cribs.
Change older babies and twos on a vinyl mat on the floor in a designated area of the
room. Disinfect the mat with bleach solution after each use.
All teachers are required to wear latex gloves when changing diapers or assisting with
Teachers should wash their hands after removing gloves.
Clean restroom surfaces (faucet handles and toilet seats) with bleach water solution or
a chlorine-containing scouring powder or other nontoxic bathroom surface cleaner/
disinfectant serveral times a day if possible, but at least once a day or when soiled.
DIAPERING AND TOILETING PROCEDURES
A. Diapering Procedures
1. Collect a sheet of waxed paper, premoistened disposable towelettes (check for allergies)
clean diaper, disposable latex gloves (approved for medical use), disposable trash bag
(small paper or heavy duty plastic ziplock bag), ointmen (if provided by parents and
with parents authorization), and a wash cloth for washing child’s hands.
2. Place waxed paper on top of the clean diaper and slide it under the child.
3. Put on disposable latex gloves.
4. Unfasten, remove, and roll soiled/wet diaper in waxed paper.
5. Clean child’s diaper area with premoistened towlette and put used towelette in waxed
6. Fasten clean diaper securely.
7. Remove gloves trying to enclose wrapped soiled/wet diaper and used towlette. Hold
diaper in right hand. Pull the top of the right-handed glove down over the diaper so
that the glove covers most of the diaper. Hold the partly concealed diaper in the left
hand. Pull the top of the left-handed glove down over the diaper concealing the
remainder of the diaper.
8. Drop the enclosed soiled/wet diaper in the paper disposal bag and dispose of it in a
covered trash container that has been lined with a plastic trash bag.
9. Wash the baby’s hands with the wash cloth. Assist older preschoolers with
10. Invite the child to return to the activity area.
11. Disinfect the diapering area with bleach solution.
12. Wash your hands following the “Handwashing Procedures” (see this document).
B. Toileting Procedures
1. Assist young preschoolers with toileting if needed.
2. Use gloves when assisting a child.
3. Remove your gloves and assist the child in washing their hands.
4. Wash your hands using “Handwashing Procedures” (this document) after assisting a
5. Instruct or assist older preschoolers and children in proper handwashing after they use
Handwashing is important in preventing the spread of infection and should be routinely practiced by
teachers and taught to children 18 months and older.
Teachers and children should wash their hands after using the toilet, after wiping their eyes or nose,
before and after cleaning or touching an open wound, and before serving food.
Use antibacerial soap and warm running water (if available) when washing hands. If running water is not available
provide a pan of soapy water and a pan of rinse water and a pan of bleach solution in the room.
Rub hands vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds.
Wash all surfaces including backs of hands, wrists, between fingers, and under fingernails.
Rinse soap from hands.
Disinfect hands in bleach solution.
Dry hands with a disposable paper towel.
Turn water faucet off with a disposable towel (instead of using bare hands) then dispose of towel in trash.
IV. Emergency Illness or Injury
Use these practices to prevent the transfer of diseases between the children and teachers and protect
them from injury.
Keep disposable latex gloves readily accessible in classrooms, resource areas, first aid areas, and play
ground areas for use in assisting a child who becomes ill or injured.
Wear disposable latex gloves when changing diapers, cleaning wounds, and handling any bodily fluids or
items contaminated with bodily fluids.
Spills from bodily fluids, including blood, feces, nasal and eye discharges, saliva, urine, and vomit should
be cleaned immediately. Be careful not to get any of the fluids in your eyes, nose or mouth or an open
sore you may have.
Disinfect surfaces contaminated with bodily fluids using a chlorine bleach solution (one part bleach to 10
parts water is necessary for blood spills).
Discard fluid-contaminated material in a heavy-duty plastic bag and seal securely. Remove from the area
Mops used to clean up bodily fluids should be cleaned in hot soapy water, rinsed in a disinfecting solution,
wrung dry, and hung to air dry completely. Carpeted floors should be covered with a heavy-duty plastic
cover (taped in place) until children are out of the area and the carpet can be cleaned with a nontoxic
deep cleaning process.
V. Cleaning Walls and Floors
Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting rooms.
Disinfect doors and doorknobs at the end of each session with bleach solution (See “Bleach Solution
Clean walls and floors after each session in younger preschool rooms.
Clean floors in older preschool and children’s rooms at the end of each day. Clean walls at least every
Mop floors in soapy water, rinse in clear water, and disinfect with bleach solution.
If a floor is carpeted, vacuum the carpet in three directions after each session. Clean the carpet
monthly with a nontoxic, deep cleaning process.
Sources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Infectious Diseases,
The ABC’s of Safe and Healthy Child Care
Edited by Sheri Babb
Written by Dixie Swezey, Minister of Childhood Education,
Quail Springs Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Ok
Procedures written by: Sheri Babb Preschool/Children’s Ministry Specialist,
Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
DEVELOPING POLICIES FOR YOUR
Guidelines Designed to Assist Your Church in Protecting Children
uring the past decade churches have been sued for injuries to children, negligence in preventing infectious diseases, and
improper selection and supervision of works. 1 Courts have ruled that churches are not “issuers” of the safety of chldren and
are not automatically legally liable when a child suffers injury at church. 2 However, the courts have found churches liable
and awarded damages when church workers have been negligent. Negligence means a breech of duty or failure to exercise
hroughout the years, churches have responded to preschoolers and children with a “higher standard of care.” They have
been diligent inproviding a loving and teaching atmosphere for children. Today’s churches, however, must
their “higher standard of care” for children. In order to meet our legal duty in the legalistic climate, well-
formulated and implemented policies are needed.
he need for policies is not dependent on the size of the congregation. Pedophiles andother known offenders of children
are beginning to prey on smaller churches. To protect against being found negligent, policies approved by the church body
are necessary for the large and small church. Whether the charges or accusations are true or not, a church can be found to
be negligent if policies have not been formulated, approved by the church body, and then implemented. Often insurance
companies require church approved policies in order to continue church coverage. Legally, we are responsible for answer-
ing, “What di you or your staff do to prevent this tragedy from occuring?” 3
How Does a Church Begin Developing Policies?
Contact churches that have policies in place (or Sheri Babb, Baptist General Convention of
Oklahoma) and ask for a copy(s) of church preschool andchildren’s policies. The books
Toward 2000: Leading Preschoolers in Sunday School, Toward 2000: Leading Children
in Sunday School,
and the kit
Effective Church Committee Work
Resources provide suggestions in formulating policies and organizing a preschool and/or
Research recommended standards of care (state childcare services; laws applying to
employed teachers; and fire, electrical, and building codes).
Consult with your insurance agent.
Meet with your leadership (or preschool/children’s committees) to study the policies and
the research you have compiled.
From your research formulate policies that meet your church’s needs.
Obtain more help:
Obtain sample policies from Christian Development books, Lifeway Christian Resources; from churches in Oklahoma and surrounding states;
from your associational office; and Sheri Babb, Preschool/Children’s Ministry Specialist, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma,
405/942-3800 x 642.
For assistance in writing and developing policies call your associational office or Sheri Babb, Preschool/Children’s Minsitry Specialist, BGCO.
Policies to include:
A greeting from the pastor
Purpose for the policies
Age of children
Availability of facilities
Hours for church programs
Guidelines for requesting and using
Age divisions for departments
Arrival and pick up procedures
Infectious disease guidelines
Food and feeding guidelines
Number of workers on duty in the
rooms and on the playground
Training of teachers
Background check guidelines
Infectious Disease Policies
ddressing infectious diseases enables teachers and parents to feel comfortable knowing your church is knowledgeable
and prepared to love and care for all children. For information on infectious diseases contact your local health depart-
ment, National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Current policies used in
licensed daycare facilities and schools may be obtained from the Deptartment of Human Services. Policies regarding
communicable disease (tuberculosis, AIDS, and hepatitis B) may be obtained from the National Center of Infectious
Diseases and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Since medical records are to be kept confidential, consult
legal counsel in writing Infectious Disease policies.
afety and security policies are necessary for the protection and safety of children and their families. Developing
policies on the use of security cards helps teachers feel comfortable in returning children ot the appropriate parent. The
security guidelines encourage parents to relax during worship and Bible Study, knowing their child is safe and comfortable
in his/her room. Safety policies assure parents and teachers of the safety for everyone in children’s ministry.
What Does Your Church Do Once The Policies Are Formulated?
hen the preschool and /or children’s committee(s) feel comfortable with the policies, invite parents to review the
policies. Distribute the policies a week or two prior to a parent meeting. During the meeting give parents time to ask
questions and discuss the contnts of the policies. Explain the intended purpose and reasons for policies in your church.
Parents can offer valuable feedback an assist in clarifying policies for other parents. Their review and approval encourages
and supports teachers when implementing policies.
nce the committee and the parents feel comfortable wit the policies, arrange for these policies to be approved by the
church during a business meeting. This step may seem unnecessary but church approved policies become church policy.
This allows the enforcer of the policies to refer to the policies as church approved policy when confronted or in an adverse
situation. Insurance companies readily accept church approved policy as opposed to policies set by a preschool committee
or department. Policies should be strictly abided by at all times.. If a church has policies in place, but disregards these
policies, the church can be found negligent.
1 Richard Hammar, presneter of the Baptist Sunday School Board seminar, “Legal Issues in the Church,” held on April 26, 1994, in Nashville, TN
2 Kenneth Snyder, “Legal Liability in Daycare and Nursery School Facilities,” Church Administration (Nashville, TN; Convention Press, Mar 1993).
3 Richard Hammar and others, Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse in Your Church (Matthews, NC: Church Ministry Resources, 1993).
Written by Glenne Whisehunt, First Baptist Church, Noble, Ok Edited by Sheri Babb, Preschool/Children’s Ministry Specialist, BGCO
A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
A Major Step in Protecting Children
safe environment and surroundings are important when protecting preschoolers, children, teachers, and their families.
To reduce the liability of the church, review the following safety guidelines. Place a check by the ones your preschool and
children’s areas meet. If your church’s safety standards are less than desirable, concentrate on updating your church facilites
so they meet safety standards. Check with your insurance company, your local fire department, and other community safety
centers for further guidelines.
A copy of this list may be reproduced for each of your preschool and children’s rooms.
Sidewalks, Steps, Parking Areas,
Stairs, Hallways, Entry
All areas have good surfaces free of tripping
Sand and salt are available to treat outdoor
areas during inclement weather. Parking lot
and walkways are well drained.
Appropriate traffic signs are visible and
Entrance doors have controls to prevent fast
Entry surfaces are matted to control slippery
conditions when wet.
Mats or carpets are in good condition to
Aisles and hallways are unobstructed.
Walking areas are well lit.
Stairways have non-slip surfaces and stairs are
free of toys, games, or other slip/trip hazards.
Stairwells are checked for loose railings.
Exits are properly marked with lighted exit
signs. Exit doors have emergency bars and are
left unlocked when building is occupied.
Fire-exit doors are kept closed and escapes are
well secured and sturdy.
Emergency lighting operates properly and is
Emergency (fire, floods, storms) evacuation
plans are practiced and posted on walls. A crib
is prepared for quick evacuation of babies.
Unauthorized persons are denied access to the
Good housekeeping is evident.
Small one-way glass is in the door for viewing
the room activity and the door opens into
Doorways and rooms are uncluttered.
Classroom doors are closed at all times.
The room and its contents are searched for
protruding nails, sharp corners, broken tile,
leaking ceiling, damaged carpet and other
hazards. Repairs are made immediately.
Rooms are free of molds, mildew, dampness,
and items (curtains and blinds) that hold
Rooms are well lighted and ventilated with
adequate heat and air units.
Heat and air units are cleaned and checked at
least yearly by a liscensed electrician and/or a
heat and air technician.
Safety covers are placed in or over all
Electric cords in good condition and out of
the children’s reach. Cords do not run across
expanses of flooring.
Smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, light
weight fire extinguishers are in each rooms.
A reinforced crib with sturdy legs is marked
with red florescent tape and is available for
emergency evacuation of babies and ones.
Crib must roll through all doors to an outside
Windows are closed and locked.
Furniture is in good repair (no splintering or
cracks) and is sturdy and does not tilt easily.
A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
A Major Step in Protecting Children
Trash receptacles contain heavy-duty plastic
bags and are placed out of the reach of young
preschoolers. The lid of the receptacle closes
shut on its own.
Two teachers are present at all times and
children are never left unattended. Thus,
activities are supervised closely.
Teachers’ purses are out of reach of children.
Teachers’ pockets are free of harmful objects.
Teachers are trained and acquainted with safety
measures (first aid, CPR, emergency evacuation,
location of fire extinguishers, and emergency
Accident and incident reports are available.
Teachers complete a report on all accidents and
incidents that occur. The information is shared
with the parents only and kept in a confidential
Equipment, and Materials
The room contents are age appropriate.
Crib slats are no more than 2 3/8” apart and the
mattress fits snug in crib.
Broken, cracked, and materials in need of repair
are removed and discarded or repaired and
Materials are nontoxic and safety scissors are
used. Materials that slide into a choke tester or
through a tissue tube are discarded.
Consumer Products Safety list is checked
frequently for hazardous equipment and recalled
Furniture is placed away from windows.
Children have consistent guidance and guide
lines when using the equipment, toys, and
materials. (Climbing, throwing and defacing
materials and equipment are not permitted).
Restroom doors are kept closed.
Toilet lids are closed and locked with safety locks
in young preschool rooms.
Red florescent tape marks “Hot Water” faucet.
Water temperature is no more than 120 degrees.
Cleaning, washing, and disinfectant materials
are stored in a locked area away from the
children. The restrooms or classrooms are not
used for storage of these materials.
Kitchens and areas that contain
appliances are closed off to limit
children’s access and are used only
under the supervision of an adult.
Toys are plastic and can be disinfected after
a child finishes using one.
Stuffed animals or dolls with hair are not
recommended, as they can be disinfected.
Prejudge breakability. If a toy is dropped,
ask: “Would it break, crack, or have sharp
Toys are examined every week for damage
and removed from preschool area when
regarded as unsafe.
No toy with pieces smaller than 1 1/2” in
diameter is used. Rattle ends are at least
1 1/2” in diameter.
Strings are attached securely to toys and
are no longer than 12 inches. Beads are not
attached to the string.
Toys are nonflammable.
Toys are not strung across cribs.
Toys are free of mechanisms (hinges, slots,
holes, and wind-ups) that could pinch.
No electrical toys or toys with loud noises
are permitted for use with children at
Age level appropriateness on packaging is
Consumer Products Safety is checked at
least monthly for a list of recalled toys.
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Age appropriate equipment has been
adequately installed (according to
manufacturing guidelines) and
maintained to provide safety for the child.
Shock absorbing materials at least 8 to 12
inches deep is placed under equipment.
Equipment is free of sharp edges and corners,
protruding bolts, screws, and boards.
Equipment is checked often for need of repair
and repairs are made immediately.
Area is checked daily for broken glass, stones,
and sharp objects that may cause injury.
Playground is free of poisonous plants.
Rules and consistent guidelines are set and abided
by at all times.
Teachers interact with children while on the
playground rather than talk with one another.
Children are closely supervised by at least two
adults. Correct pupil/teacher ratio is provided
(3:1, 0-3’s; 4:1, 4-5’s; 6:1, children).
Fence is in good repair. Gates have safety locks.
Order “Handbook for Public Playground Safety”
from Consumers Products Safety Commission for
Teachers’ remove shoes and wear scuffs in the
room where children play and crawl on floor.
This avoids tracking dust particles withlead and
unsafe material into the child’s play area.
Dusty powdered substances (chalk, flour, talc,
powdered tempera) which can be inhaled are
removed from the room.
Art materials are checked for toxic and harmful
ingredients. Shave cream as an art media is not
recommended. It can burn the esophagus if
swallowed. Shave cream contains 70 to 80%
alcohol and 1 tsp. can make a child sick.
Poison Control Center is consulted when a child
ingest a questionable substance. Use Syrup of
Ipecac to induce vomiting
only when advied
by the Poison Control Center
or a physician.
Obtain parent’s permission ona medical form
and keep it on file.
Any medications on the premises are stored in a
locked box ina refrigerator. No medications
(including non-prescription items) are in diaper
bags or purses. Teachers will not administer
medications. In an extreme case parents may
administer medications to their own child.
Other children are not present when medication
is given. Special cases are cleared through the
Preschool Director/Minister or other staff person
and written forms are kept on file.
Post Poison Control Center telephone number
along with other emergency numbers by a
telephone in the preschool and children’s areas.
Child safety proof caps are keep on containers.
A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Back to top
A Major Step in Protecting Children
Materials are kept in original containers with
original labels and locked in a closet away from
children. Disinfectant and cleaning materials are
stored in a locked closed away from bathrooms
Never call medicine candy. Even adult vitamins
can be harmful to a child.
Nature materials are checked. No plants on the
poisonous plant list are used. Small animals are
used with caution (turtles transmit salmonella).
Obtain a poisonous plant list from the National
Poison Center Network or your county or state
extension office. Post a list in each classroom.
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Opened baby foods are labeled and dated.
Food is transferred from container to bowl
before being offered to a child. Any serving
remaining in the bowl is discarded. Unused
baby food remaining in jar is stored in
refrigerator immediately after use. Foods not
eaten within twenty-four hours are discarded.
Bottles are heated in a crock-pot or bottle
warmer rather than microwaves. Microwaves
cause hot spots to occur in liquids and can
scald a baby’s throat. Breast milk heated in a
microwave depletes nutritents. Discard milk
left in bottles.
Parents are consulted about allergies to foods
before children are served any snacks or foods.
Safety precautions with toasters, toaster ovens,
or small electrical appliances are taken while
cooking with preschoolers and children.
Preschoolers are seated and remain seated
while eating or drinking any foods or liquids.
Food is prepared away from diaper changing
Teachers wash their own hands and children’s
hands before and after eating or handling
Foods to avoid are seeds, nuts, beans, raw
carrots and celery, peanuts, raisins,
whole grapes, popcorn, apples with peelings,
and peanut butter.
FIRST AID KIT
These materials are basics. There may be additonal supplies you wish to include. Store the kit in a cool dry place and out
of the reach and sight of children. Check supplies for expiration dates and replace as necessary. Do not administer
medications to a child unless advised by a physician and approved by the child’s parent.
first aid book
assorted gandages and gauze (sterile)
antiseptic wipes and solution
cotton balls and Q-tips
dosage spoon/measuring spoon
drinking cups (paper)
drinking water (1 gallon)
eye cup and pads
flashight and extra batteries
hot water bottle
instant cold pack
matches (for sterilizing)
bee sting kit
plastic bags (sealable for disposal of
cloths/gauze used in handling blood)
stainless steel scissors
syrup of ipecac (use only on the advice of
the Poison Control Center or physican)
Handbook for Public Playground Safety
and a toy
list with recallsk updates and safety standards.
Consumer Products Safety Commission
Washington, D.C. 20207
-(Send self addressed envelope for toy booklet)
Toy Manufacturers of America
PO Box 866
Madison Square, Station
New York, NY 10159
Lead prevention brochures
Lead Free Kids, Inc.
110 E. 31st Street Box 8595
Minneapolis, MN 55408-0595
An On-Line Handbook for Child Care Providers
The ABC’s of Safe and Healthy ChildCare
Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Public Health Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Poison Center Network
125 DeSota Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Department Safe Toys
PO Box 17
Long Beach, CA 90801
Child Medical Information Diaper Bag Toys
PO Box 1897
2111 Kennesaw Due West Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144
General Safety Information
American Academy of Pediatrics
Division of Publications
141 North Point Blvd.
PO Box 927
Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927
Prepared by: Sheri Babb, Preschool Children’s Specialist, Church and Family
Equipping, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
A Top Priority for
Protecting Preschoolers in Your Church
are a precious part of the church. It would be hard to imagine church
without preschoolers. The halls would be silent without laughter from preschoolers or the
awes from the adults marveling at teh sight of a baby. Because preschoolers are a gig part
of teh church and one which is precious to us, we desire to protect every child from any
possible harm. Therefore, many churches are designing a security system to meet the needs
of their young families with preschoolers.
when a church is small and parents are known by teachers, exteded teaching care
and substitute teachers may not know parents. Churches of all sizes encounter situations
when a friend, relative, or noncustodial parent want to pick up a child from his/her room.
With a security system in place, the church and the teachers remain accountable to the
parent and release children only when security procedures are followed.
are precious and irreplaceable. Establishing a few simple procedures is a
small price to pay for the safety or preschoolers and for the peace of mind of teachers and
A PLAN FOR YOUR CHURCH
o ensure that only the authorized adults can pick up preschoolers at the end of each
session or church service, implement a security plan. Your church leaders or a preschool or
children’s committee can take the responsibility for guiding your church approving and
implementing a security plan and policies.
arious plans are being used by churches of all sizes, large and small. Most of the plans
are variations of three basic security systems: cards, tickets, or tags. Choose a system that
will work for your church.
Identification Card System
Permanent identification cards (one for each
child) may be issued to parents with information
such as the child’s and parents’ names and a
security card. The cards generally are about
credit card size and are laminated. Parents keep
the cards in their possession for use each time
they pick up their child.
Another permanent card approach is to issue
parents a family card rather than a card for each
child. The family card indicates teh name and
security number of each child in the family. Or, a
permanent card can be made with a photo of the
child and his/her parent(s). The photo card is
laminated and attached to a key chain for the
parents to keep. The adult shows the teacher the
photo card with his/her and the child’s
photobefore he/she recieves the child from the
Still another variation of the card plan is for the
teacher to give the parent a simple name card
each time the child comes to the room. The parent
returns the card to the teacher when he comes for
the child, and the card is stored in the room.
When permanent ID cards are issued, document
the issue date and other information on an ID
Card Information Form for your files. This form
might include date, parent’s names, address,
phone number, children’s names, security
numbers, number of cards issued, and additional
information you may wish to have as a church.
When security cards are lost and reissued, this
information can be recorded, also.
Claim-Check or Ticket System
Many churches use a claim-check system in
which a parent takes the preforated end of a
form or ticket that matches the part kept by
the teacher. Matching numbers, letters, or
other symbols are printed on both ends of the
ticket. The ticket portion kept by the teacher
may provide space for the parent to jot down a
child’s information, including special needs
and location of the parents. Once the child is
picked up by the ticket bearer, both portions of
the ticket are destroyed by the teachers.
The ticket method can be as simple and inexpensive as using
rolls of preprinted tickets which may be purchased in bulk. use
new tickets each session and write the names of children on the
appropriate ticket stubs. Then, tape these near the door until
parents arrive with matching tickets.
Another method involves printing individually numbered
duplicate forms. After writing the date, child’s name, and special
information on the form, the parent takes the bottom sheet and
leaves the original form with the teacher. When the parent comes
for the child, the teacher matches the numbers printed on both
forms. All forms are destroyed after the child has left.
Identification Tag System
A third basic security method is the matching tag system. The
two tags display identical numbers, letters, names, or other
symbols. For each session one tag is given to the parent. The
parent must present the matching tag when he/she picks up the
child. The teacher removes the tag from the child, links the
matching tags together, and stores the tags in a secure place for
Commercial child security tags may be purchased, or tags may
be made by the church using clip-0n name badges, plastic
hospital-type ID braclets, or key rings.
For parents who need speedy access to their child (nursing
mothers, children with health problems, and visiting parents)
silent pagers can be provided on a priority basis. These pagers
can contact parent on the church grounds and alert them of the
need to return to their child’s room.
SECURITY POLICIES OR
Other security procedures ususally include:
Requiring that parents or other authorized adults (not siblings) pick up preschoolers.
Placing masking tape name labels on preschoolers and their belongings.
Using a sign-in sheet when parents bring and pick up their preschoolers.
Requiring that preschool room doors be kept closed at all times.
Providing a minimum of two or more teachers in each room.
Asking preschool teachers to wear name badges.
Using volunteer or contracted security personnel to provide assistance in church halls,
entrances, and near preschool rooms.
hen adopting a security system, involve preschool teachers in determining the
system that will work best for your church. Then, communicate the safety benefits at
meetings for parents. Letters to parents and information provided in young adult Sunday
School departments also may be helpful. Post sheets with simple instructions near
Security is such a good feeling.
Please Help Us Protect Your Child by:
showing a teacher your ID card when you come for your child.
coming for your child yourself. Church policies state that preschoolers are to be
released to parents or authorized adults only.
knocking and remaining outside the room until a teacher brings your child.
Keep accurate information. Make a list of person who can and cannot pick up a child.
Obtain this information in writing from parents.
Keep all teachers aware. The person who come to pick up a child must have a
security card (pass) and proper ID.
Get acquainted with parents. Make home visits.
If parents call to tell you of an emergency pick up, call them back to verify request
and names of persons who will be picking up the child.
Use sign in/out sheets regularly and consisitently.
Keep phone numbers and valuable information about the child inaccessible to
non-authorized persons, put this information in a safe and easy-to-locate place for
use by staff.
Keep Emergency Cards, Baby’s Schedule Cards, and Child’s Information Sheets
up-to-date and accessible to authorized staff.
Supervise preschoolers at all times. Every department/room/group needs a
minimum of two teachers.
Take extra precautions on field trips. (For example, go to the restroom as a group).
Carry Emergency Cards.
Make sure a child is release to parents or authorized persons only. Never release a
child to a person without proper ID and security card.
Be firm and direct with unauthorized persons who attempt to pick up a child.
Tips written by Sheri Babb (BGCO), Rachel Coe, and Ann Edwards (Lifeway Christian Resources)
1 Commercial tags and security cards may be purchased from NLS Specialties, PO Box 1897, Kennesaw, GA 30144. (Phone 404/422/7867).
Written by Kay Henry, Claremore, Oklahoma.
Adapted and edited by Sheri Babb, Preschool /Children’s Ministry Specialist, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma