KidSpace Policy & Procedures

The mission of KidSpace is to provide a safe environment where children are able to learn about Jesus Christ and grow into mature followers of him who glorify God by making others disciples who love God, live the gospel, embrace our community, and plant movements.  

All staff and volunteers (teachers, helpers, etc.) at Sunbury City Church (SCC) volunteer with this mission in mind.  We reach this end by maintaining a safe and secure environment for our children, by supporting and encouraging parents who are primarily responsible for teaching Biblical truths to their children, by praying for the children, by living faithfully before the children, by encouraging the children, and by maintaining the highest ethical standards for each of the volunteers and staff.    

 

Staff and Volunteer Expectations

 

Every KidSpace volunteer shares the responsibility for:

-Loving the children as Christ loves them (Mark 10:14-16).
-Setting an example of proper Christian conduct in the way we live our lives.
-Ministering to the children.
-Understand that the care of children is not a right, but a privilege; and this privilege embodies responsibilities to God for ministering and caring for the children’s hearts and safety.

 

Child Protection Before They Arrive

 

Our first concern is that children be safe while they are in our care.  To this end we: 

-Screen all KidSpace volunteers and perform background checks.
-Require training for all KidSpace volunteers and Staff.
-Equip each room with first aid kit.
-Adhere to a healthy child policy for admittance to KidSpace.
-Provide video recordings of each KidSpace room, while adhering to the policy that an adult will never be one-on-one with a child.
-Equip our KidSpace volunteers to know how to evacuate children safely in case of an emergency.
-Educate our staff and volunteers to recognize suspected child abuse and to require them to understand and follow any applicable reporting laws and to encourage them to report suspected abuse to church officials.
-All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
-Youth are welcome to help their parents serve in KidSpace, but they are always in addition to the adult volunteers and are never to be left alone with children without the presence of an adult volunteer.
-All completed records of screening procedures will be kept securely along with the original application.
-All volunteers must repeat the screening process every 5 years.
-All KidSpace volunteers must be approved by the elders or deacons.

SCC reserves the right to reject any applicant for volunteer service or dismiss and existing volunteer for any reason, including, but not limited to, refusing or failing to complete screening; failing to provide requested information; providing information that is determined as false or misleading; sin or suffering issues that compromise the applicant or volunteer’s ability to care for children; any criminal report or charge; obtaining information from references or criminal record checks that suggest that the applicant is not suitable to help with children.  

Any volunteer, deacon, elder, or staff who learns of or has knowledge of misconduct by an applicant must report that knowledge to the elders.  He or she also must be personally responsible for any legal obligation that he or she may have to disclose such information to the authorities. 

 

Protecting the Children As They Arrive and Depart

 

Check-In Procedures:

Volunteers should be ready to accept children 30 minutes prior to the Sunday Morning Gathering, so that parents have enough time to transition their children before the session begins.  

In order to ensure the safety of the child, the following procedures are in place for check-in:

-The parent/guardian must come to the KidSpace check-in where a volunteer will meet them and check their child in.  
-The parent/guardian must fill out the KidSpace guest card and a permission form upon the first visit. -This information will be put into the computer system.  Upon any return visit children will be checked into the computer system.
-The child will be given an alphanumeric code and a tag placed on the back of their shirt listing their name and the alphanumeric code.
-The parent/guardian will be given a Pick-Up voucher with the same code. 
At check-in parent/guardian should inform the KidSpace Volunteer if another adult will be retrieving their child at check-out.  This other adult will be added to the list of individuals authorized to pick up that child.  
-Teachers will be given a roster listing the children who were checked into their class.  
As children enter the classroom, teachers need to confirm that each child has a tag and is listed on the roster.   

 

Check-out Procedures:

 

Due to the desire for our children to worship with their parent/guardian each Sunday, parents/guardians will be given time to pick up their children before the final set of music. Thus in order to ensure the safety of the child, the following procedures are in place for check-out:

-Parents/guardians will come to the KidSpace desk with their Pick-Up voucher to retrieve their children.
-The KidSpace volunteer/staff will check that the alphanumeric code on the child’s tag matches the one on the Pick-Up voucher and check the child out of the computer system.
-As the child is returning to their parents, the KidSpace volunteer will remove their tag so that strangers will not be able to refer to the child by name and potentially lure them away from their parents.  
-If a parent/guardian loses their Pick-Up voucher and the KidSpace volunteer cannot confirm their identity, then an elder/staff member will need to verify the adult’s identity and confirm that they are indeed authorized to retrieve that child.  

 

Protecting the Children While They Are In Our Care

 

General Security:

 

-KidSpace volunteers and Welcome Team Greeters will wear name tags at all times.
-Under no circumstance may a child be left anywhere unsupervised.  A parent/guardian must stay with their child until a KidSpace volunteer arrives.  
-KidSpace volunteers must never leave a child alone in a classroom. 
-KidSpace volunteers are never allowed to have private one-on-one meetings with children.  There must be at least 2 qualified adults present at all times or at least 2 children. 
-Youth are never allowed to be left alone with children at any time without the presence of an adult volunteer.  
-The roster must be with the class at all times.  
-KidSpace Volunteers are never allowed to take photographs of children at a SCC KidSpace program and/or post them online, unless they have been authorized to do so.  
-While KidSpace is in session, the windows should allow for unobstructed views from the outside of everyone inside the room. 

 

Diaper Changing and Rest Room Procedure:

 

-Parents/guardians of children with dirty diapers are asked to change their children prior to check-in into KidSpace.  
-KidSpace volunteers must ask the parent/guardian about proper procedure in case a child is in need of a diaper change.  In the case that a parent/guardian desires the KidSpace volunteer to change their child’s diaper, 2 adults must be present for all diaper changes.  
-Children are allowed to use the rest room accompanied by a volunteer and another child of the same gender.  If this is not possible a parent/guardian will be asked to accompany the child.

 

Appropriate Discipline:

 

All KidSpace volunteers are responsible for providing a safe, loving, respectful and orderly atmosphere in which children can learn and interact with others.  This atmosphere should be maintained by preparing beforehand, proactively directing children towards acceptable activities, verbally encouraging positive behavior, and, when necessary, correcting or redirecting inappropriate behavior.

Acceptable means of redirecting inappropriate behavior may include correcting the child verbally, withholding a certain privilege or activity for a brief time, or separating a child from a situation or problem for a brief time (especially if the behavior is endangering or upsetting other children).  During correction, a child should never be removed from the classroom. Correction should be discrete; in the room (not in the hallway); and never outside of the sight of others.

Steps of correction might include: 1) removing the child from the situation or problem; 2) pointing out the problematic behavior; talking to the child about his sin and need for Jesus; 3) praying for the child and redirecting to a new activity; 4) helping the child to reconcile with the offended children.  Volunteers should view misbehavior as an opportunity to introduce children to the gospel.  Communication with the parents is always advised.

KidSpace volunteers are strictly prohibited from using any form of corporal punishment such as slapping, kicking, punching, spanking, or hitting.  They should never speak harsh words, insults, belittling comments, threatening words, or any other verbal humiliation to children.  

If a child’s behavior is uncontrollable or the child does not respond to the acceptable means of discipline indicated above, a volunteer should get a parent/guardian.  If a child assaults, harasses or bullies other children, misbehavior beyond minor correction, or has a pattern of misbehavior, the parents/guardians should be immediately informed so the child can be removed.  If this behavior persists over time, the child will not be allowed to attend KidSpace until the elders have approved reinstatement.  

 

Physical Touch Policy:

 

Volunteer-to-Child

 

-Always remain in open sight of other adults.
-Appropriate touch is positive contact that nurtures children and develops a sense of emotional security and maturity in their interactions with adults.  Appropriate touch is applied to meet the needs of children and not adults.
-Appropriate physical contact will vary according to the age of the child.  What is appropriate for nursery children will not be appropriate for grade school children.
-Inappropriate touch involves, but is not limited to coercion or other forms of physical contact which exploits the child’s lack of knowledge, satisfies adult physical needs at the expense of the child, violates laws against sexual or physical contact between adult and child, and any attempt to modify children with physical force.
-Volunteers should refrain from rough-housing, wrestling, shoulder or piggy-back rides, rubbing, massaging, or any physical activity that might make a child feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
-Only touch children in “safe” areas and for brief time.  “Safe” areas generally include hands, arms, shoulders, upper back, or gentle pats on the top of the head.  Never touch a child on or near any region that is private or personal, unless absolutely necessary while assisting in diaper change or a restroom visit.
-Never touch a child out of frustration or anger.  Physical discipline is not an appropriate means of correcting someone else’s child.
-Holding a child firmly with your hands to restrain him is appropriate when it is to prevent a child from an accident, injury, hurting self or others.

 

Child-to-Child

 

-No male or female under 18 should ever be alone together while in KidSpace.
-No inappropriate touching of any kind will be accepted.
-Fighting will not be tolerated and any child participating in violent actions will be dismissed from KidSpace and placed into the care of a parent/guardian.

 

Inappropriate Touching

 

-Shoving, hair pulling, shaking, slapping, pinching, biting, kicking, hitting, or spanking a child for any reason.
-Squeezing of arm, neck, face or any part of the body.
-Tickling children over the age of 5 years old.
-Touching a child in the genital areas except during diaper changing.
-Kissing a child on the lips, neck, or anywhere else.  A child should never be allowed to kiss a volunteer. Children are not allowed to kiss one another.
-Slapping or touching a child on the behind, even when playing.
-Fondling children, even in non-private areas.
-Carrying a child on the back unless the child is unable to walk.

 

Parents in KidSpace:

 

If a child would feel more at ease with a parent/guardian in KidSpace, this is allowed for a few minutes, especially for visitors or children who are going through separation anxiety.  If this goes beyond a few minutes and the child cannot remain without the parents, the parents/guardians should remove the child from KidSpace.

 

Food and Drink Policy:

 

One of the ways we protect children is to limit the food and drink allowed in KidSpace.  This reduces the chances of choking and allergic reactions during KidSpace.

Normally no snacks will be offered to the children in KidSpace.

Children 2 and older will only be allowed water during KidSpace.  Volunteers will label and give infants under the age of two a bottle only if parents/guardians provide one.

No child under the age of 2 is allowed to be given food of any kind.  

If parents/guardians feel it is necessary for a child to eat during the allotted time of KidSpace, the parents/guardians must remove the child from KidSpace and administer the food personally to their individual child.

Parents/guardians with children with allergies should talk with the KidSpace volunteers about the allergies and how to keep the child safe.
If food is used to enhance the KidSpace lesson, the volunteers must get signed permission from the parents/guardians of allof the children before allowing anychild to participate.  

 

Security and Emergency Response:

 

Emergency Situations

In emergency situations, if appropriate, 911 will be called to secure help and/or the parents/guardians will be notified.

Accidents, First Aid and Medical Emergencies

KidSpace is equipped with basic first aid kits.  In the event of life-threatening injury or illness, emergency medical services will be called and parents will be informed immediately.  Volunteers should complete an Accident Report Form for all injuries, whether major or minor prior to leaving the premises on the day of the accident.

If there is a head injury, immediately inform the parents/guardians.

Evacuation Procedures

In the event an evacuation needs to take place, volunteers must follow standard evacuation procedures by exiting the door through the front or back. 

In the event of a fire, a volunteer/staff should call 911 and also assist all children in immediately evacuating the building.  Parents/guardians should not report to the KidSpace room because they risk creating chaos and blocking the exits for children.  Instead parents/guardians will meet their children in the parking lot. Evacuation information is located in the KidSpace room.  Volunteers and parents/guardians should familiarize themselves with this information. 


A Live Threat

Due to the nature of this procedure and the nature of a live threat we will not post our procedures online.  We do not want any suspect to learn about our procedures before posing a threat.  If you have questions please feel free to ask our KidSpace volunteer at the check-in booth.  

 

Missing Child or Kidnapping

 

In the case of a missing child, the staff/volunteer will first do a thorough check of the KidSpace room to make sure the child is not hiding.  If the child is not found after a thorough check of KidSpace, the parents/guardians and a deacon/elder will be notified to continue searching for the child until they are found.  Welcome Team Greeters will be asked to guard exits until otherwise notified by an elder or deacon.  If the child is not found, the deacon/elder will call the police to secure further help. 
In the case of a kidnapping a deacon/elder should call 911 to secure help from the police.  Welcome Team Greeters will be asked to guard exits until otherwise notified by an elder or deacon.

 

Healthy Child Policy:

 

Communicable Disease Policy

 

In order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases among the children, several guidelines are in place concerning disease.

 

-Children with infectious diseases should be kept home until they are no longer contagious and has not had symptoms for at least 24 hours.  If a child is exhibiting symptoms of illness such as fever (101 degrees), diarrhea, vomiting, open skin lesions or blisters; the parent/guardian should keep the child home. 

 

-Volunteers will use disposable latex gloves and proper hygiene procedures to handle blood spills.

 

-Hand washing and/or use of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer must be a regular habit for both children and volunteers.

 

-Volunteers have the right to refuse a child on the basis of questionable symptoms.

 

A child should not participate in KidSpace if and when any of the following exist:

-Fever, vomiting or diarrhea
-Has the flu, scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox or whooping cough
-Sore throat
-Croup
-Lice or scabies
-Any unexplained rash
-Any skin infection such as ringworm, impetigo, etc
-Pink eye or other eye infections
-Thick green, yellow or constant nasal discharge
-Any other communicable disease

 

The parents/guardians will be informed and asked to retrieve any children who appear ill during KidSpace.

 

Please inform an elder if your child appears to have contracted an illness while attending KidSpace so that other parents/guardians may be notified if necessary.  

 

Volunteers should never give any medication to any child.




Injury or Accident Report

Name of Child:__________________________________________________________  Date:____________

Name of Parent/Guardian:__________________________________________________________________

Name of Volunteer:________________________________________________________________________

Time of Injury:________________ Location of Injury on Child:________________________________

IF HEAD INJURY: IMMEDIATELY CONTACT PARENTS

Explanation of Circumstances (please be thorough):





List care administered to child following incident:






Check all appropriate boxes:

_Elder/deacon notified               Time:__________________

_Parent/Guardian notified         Time:__________________

_Child removed by parent

_Child remained with parental consent


PLEASE OBTAIN ALL SIGNATURES BELOW:

Signature of Volunteer:_________________________________________ Date:______________________

Signature of Parent/Guardian:_________________________________ Date:______________________

Signature of Witness of Event:_________________________________ Date:______________________

Signature of elder/deacon:­­­_____________________________________ Date:______________________