On Saturday, June 6th, there will be a basic training session for ALL SojournKids servants--whether you serve in Germantown, St. Matthew's, or are planning to serve during our Summer School of Word & Art program. It will be held at The 930 Art Center, the meeting site for Sojourn's Germantown campus. We will review the vision and philosophy of SojournKids and introduce our new multi-campus leadership team (9am until 11am). Then, we will break for a half-hour lunch, which will be provided. In the afternoon, we will do role-specific training for those who serve in the nursery, toddler, preschool, elementary, and Titus 2/check-in areas (11:30 until 2:00pm) . We will also do a separate break-out session for those who plan to serve during the School of Word & Art this summer. Come and join us as we look to the Scriptures for inspiration for the future, reward those who have served faithfully, and brush up on our best practices. If you need childcare, please RSVP here by May 30th.
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 (email@example.com) 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.
We're nearing the end of our six-month commitment for SojournKids. There are already a number of new members to the SojournKids team, so I wanted to take a few minutes to review some of our policies and let you know about a few key dates that are coming up. If you are new to the team or are considering joining our team, please take note of the SojournKids Basic Training on February 28th from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM (lunch and childcare provided). You can RSVP here. In the mean time, take a look at the "for servants" page where you will find links to our training materials and a tentative schedule for March thru August 2009.
- Please pray for the SojournKids leadership, about your lesson, for the spiritual development of the kids in your class, and for your own spiritual growth. As you pray for these kids, pray for their lives outside of your class as well. Our time with these children is only a brief part of their lives.
2. Check-in Procedures:
- SojournKids servants, Sojourn staff members, and other ministry servants will wear a lanyard or sticker name tag at all times.
- Each class will take roll at the beginning of each service time. The roll should be completed as children enter the classroom. Please mark the alphanumeric code from the child’s check-in sticker on the roll sheet instead of a check mark to ensure that the child has come through the check-in process.
3. Toilet Assistance:
- One adult should never be alone with a child at any time.
- It is the policy of SojournKids that all diaper changes and toilet assistance will be done in the presence of two adult servants. This often requires the help of a coordinator or desk team member. Please ask for help. Even older children who do not need toilet assistance should be taken to the restroom as a group, and two workers should enter the restroom together with these children to provide the necessary supervision.
- To protect children and adults, male servants will not change diapers or provide toilet assistance to a child. Male servants may enter the restroom when accompanied by another adult but not provide toilet assistance.
- As a matter of hospitality, arrive at least 30 minutes early. Take time before class to clean the glass window in your classroom (including the window in your classroom door), mop up any dirty floors including the hallway or stairwell, vacuum the carpet and dust the tops of your classroom counters/ cabinets.
- After class, please clean up all messes. Put toys away neatly. Return unused resources to the storage room or closet. Sanitize toys, tables, chairs, the diaper changing area, etc. Sweep, mop (using the Swiffer WetJet, and vacuum the classroom before you leave. Take out the trash, and reline the trashcan after each service. If you are serving the last service of the day, turn off the lights and close the door.
- With midweek childcare classes and events beginning again, it is especially important that we all give careful attention to cleaning.
5. Key Dates
- Sat, Feb 28th (9am-2pm) Basic Re:Training for SojournKids Servants
- Sun, Mar 1st, 8th, 15th (8-9am) Bi-annual Re-group for SojournKids Deacons