We are always learning more about what it takes to love and serve kids. So, at each SojournKids Basic Training, we update our current policies. One new policy that we are adopting on Sunday, March 1 relates to mandatory ratios and room capacities. This is a big change for our ministry, and we hope that it results in a safer and more effective learning culture. I wanted to give all you parents a heads up. Here is how the policy will appear in our training manual next Saturday. If you have any questions about the policy, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) Classroom Ratios and Caps:
For the safety and protection of the children in our care, two adults must be present before we can open a room. In the nursery and preschool classroom, there are ratios we abide by—1:3 for infants, 1:4 for one year-olds, 1:5 for toddlers (ages two and three), 1:10 for children ages four and up. For the care and safety of the children, we will not take more children than we have adult workers. When there are not enough volunteers or when a worker has a last minute emergency, we must close the room.
When a classroom is closed, parents will be asked to wait. It is the responsibility of the service coordinator to either find replacement servants or reassign children to another room. Each coordinator will be provided with a list of parents that have volunteered to serve in these situations. Also, members of the connect team (who have been approved to serve for CG childcare) can be assigned to children’s classrooms. It is not our desire to ever turn our guests away. For that reason, we encourage all Sojourn members to serve to ensure that no children are turned away.
There is also a limit to the number of children we can place in a room. Based on the square footage and the age of the children, our nursery space allows for a maximum of 30 infants/one year-olds in three nursery classrooms. Our two toddler classrooms allow for a maximum of 30 children ages two and three. When a classroom reaches capacity, a sign will be placed on the door to designate that the room is full, and the service coordinator will reassign any additional children to the next available age-appropriate room. If the nursery reaches capacity, the SojournKids office can be used as an additional space for infant children.
Why do we abide by ratios and caps? First, we are seeking to provide the best possible learning environment for the children in our care. Ratios and caps help to ensure that our classrooms both are adequately staffed and are of an appropriate size for learning to take place. Second, the ratios and caps help to ensure the safest possible environment—ensuring that there is adequate staff to respond quickly in the case of an emergency. The ratios and caps provide a concrete standard by which classroom servants and service coordinators can determine when they need more help.
Note: We are still looking for servants to commit to our next cycle. If you have interest in serving, please contact me and take time to fill out our online service application. Our SojournKids Basic Training will be on Saturday, February 28th from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM (lunch and childcare provided). This is a mandatory training session for all SojournKids servants. Parents are also welcome if you would like to learn more about SojournKids' philosophy, policies, and procedures. Please RSVP here.