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Policy Guide

A resource for parents and volunteers


Vision

Our church exists because we believe Jesus is better than everything else. At Kid City we strive to take that simple truth and help kids understand it at an age-appropriate level.

From there, it is our goal to empower parents and families to disciple their kids at home, so that Kid City can be a place for learning and celebrating, but the home can be the primary place for discipleship.


Policies, and why we need them

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Yeah, this isn’t the most fun part of what we do, but we need to make sure that everyone is on the same team when it comes to how Kid City operates. Volunteers need to know what is expected of them, and parents need to know that their kids are being taken care of and that we take our job seriously.

We understand that policies can be annoying at times, but they are in place to protect our kids and to protect our volunteers.

Please take time to read through and understand each section before you start with Kid City, and as needed when updates are made.


A Safe Environment

  • All volunteers must have completed a volunteer application, submitted to a criminal background/reference check, and have been approved to serve by a Kid City Coordinator or Elder.

  • Anyone convicted of any form of child abuse, neglect, endangerment, or a related offense may not serve with Kid City.

  • All volunteers must receive training which covers our philosophy of ministry, policies and procedures, and guidelines for effective and age-appropriate teaching.

  • All classrooms are staffed by a team of two or more unrelated adult volunteers. Due to our diapering policies and it’s frequent use by nursing moms, the babies room will only be staffed by female volunteers. Under no circumstances is a child to be left in a classroom or be with anyone unattended.

  • While we allow teenagers to serve in the Kid City Ministry, we require that students be at least one age level removed from the class where they serve. For example, a middle school student may not serve with elementary, but may serve in any class, preschool and down. Teen volunteers will be trained in the same manner as adult volunteers. A teen volunteer may not be counted as an adult volunteer in the classroom at any time.

  • A Kid City Coordinator will be responsible for check-ins. Only volunteers are allowed upstairs into the Kid City area prior to check ins.

  • Kid City has an open policy so that all parents/guardians have access to their children.  However, no parent or guardian is allowed upstairs without a printed tag that matches a child’s tag upstairs, which they receive during check-in. If a parent needs to check on their child, they can ask the Host Team member at the entrance to the auditorium for assistance. If you would like to sit in on a Sunday in Kid City, please speak with a Kid City Coordinator.

  • Walkie talkies are provided in each room in the case that someone needs immediate assistance from a coordinator.

  • Kids’ name tags include important information for volunteers to use while serving. A parent cell phone number is printed and can be used to contact a parent during the gathering. Any allergies or other information will also be printed on the tag.

Secure Check-in/Check Out

Example of a child’s check-in label (top), and parent’s corresponding pickup label (bottom).

Example of a child’s check-in label (top), and parent’s corresponding pickup label (bottom).

  • Classrooms will open 15 minutes prior to a regularly scheduled Gathering and will close ten minutes after the completion of the Gathering.

  • A registration form must be completed for each family the first time that a child participates in Kid City. The form is used to provide important information such as allergies and authorized family members who can pick-up a child.

  • All children must be checked-in at the registration table. Upon check-in, a child is given a name tag with a number on it. The parent will receive a matching name tag. Only parents, legal guardians, or designated individuals may retrieve a child from the children’s ministry area. The matching pickup label must be presented before the child will be released. In the event a name tag is lost, ask the designated individual to show a driver’s license that matches an authorized family member on the child’s registration sheet. The child’s safety is our first priority, even if it requires extra time.

  • Parents will be notified by text message if their child remains inconsolable and unable to adjust. In the event that a parent must retrieve their child from Kid City the parent must present a matching pickup label to the classroom volunteer before retrieving their child.

Emergency Plans

  • First Aid - A first aid kit is accessible in each classroom.
    In the event of minor scrapes and bruises, parents are notified by text of the situation with childcare workers administering the appropriate treatment measures, such as applying pressure or a band-aid. No pharmacological treatment, oral or topical, will be administered by a volunteer. Parents may come and check on their child as they choose.

    For more serious situations, such as a bump on the head or a gash, parents will be notified and asked to come to the Kid City area as soon as they can. Life-threatening situations will, of course, be handled as emergencies with appropriate treatment measures being immediately instituted. 911 and parents will be notified immediately. Mill City will not be responsible for any “Good Samaritan” assistance offered by any of its members.

  • CPR - A CPR certified volunteer will be at all gatherings for emergency situations. In the event that a child is in need of CPR, a volunteer will call 911 and immediately notify parents. A CPR certified list will be posted in each classroom.

  • Fire - In the event of a fire, all children will be accounted for using attendance sheets then quickly escorted to the baseball field beyond the parking lot.

  • Power Outage - Flashlights are readily available to all classrooms (in their storage bins). In the event of a power outage, children will remain in Kid City until parents/guardians pick them up.

  • Tornadoes, Storms, and Severe Weather - Children will be escorted to enclosed rooms on the lower floor of the building, and instructed to sit with their back against the wall, knees tucked under their chins, arms wrapped around the knees, and head bent down.

  • Active Shooter - Once all children are accounted for, classroom doors will be locked, windows covered, and children guided to the least visible area of the room and kept quiet until law enforcement arrives and the threat is over.

Food Safety & Allergies

  • During registration, parents will have the opportunity to notify Kid City of any allergies a child may have. If an allergy develops after the original registration, please contact a Kid City Coordinator to make sure our records are updated. Allergies appear on the child’s name tag and will be checked during snack time. If an allergic reaction occurs, parents will be notified immediately.

  • Since we want all kids to be included in all activities, we strive to use snacks available with the fewest allergens possible.

  • For the safety of our children with allergies, please do not bring food into Kid City classrooms.

Discipline

  • We anticipate that children, at times, will cause problems, be disrespectful, disruptive, and mean to others. Volunteers will be required to exercise appropriate discipline when necessary. The progression for discipline in Kid City is as follows:

    • Step 1: Verbal correction/warning

    • Step 2: Time out/removal from current activity

    • Step 3: Coordinator will contact parents and possibly remove the child

  • Volunteers will only hold or grab a child if they are preventing them from harming another child.

  • Parents will be notified if their child has been causing problems in the classroom.

Sickness

  • If a child shows signs of sickness, Kid City reserves the right to ask parents to remove him or her from the classroom.

  • For the benefit of our volunteers and other children in our care, a sick child will not be permitted in Kid City for 24 hours after condition has returned to normal. Depending on the illness, a child may attend Kid City 24-48 hours after they have received their first dose of antibiotics.

  • As Kid City becomes aware of any communicable diseases that may have entered the Kid City space, we will alert parents and volunteers as necessary so that they can act accordingly.

Special Needs

  • Kid City is designed to be a place where all children are able to to hear the gospel at a level that makes sense for them.

  • Kid City is home to kids with all kinds of special needs. All kids are treated equally, with provisions made as appropriate for special circumstances. Please talk to a volunteer at registration if you have specific instructions on how we can accommodate your child.

Diapering

  • Only female adult volunteers may change diapers

  • Volunteers may not apply medications or topical ointments, including diaper ointments. A parent may be contacted at diaper change time if this is needed.

  • Diapers are only changed in the babies and toddler classrooms.

  • Diapers are only to be changed on the changing stations.

  • Latex-free disposable gloves will be used when changing any type of diaper.

  • Children will always have a fresh diaper when they leave Kid City.

  • Diapers and materials supplied by the parent will be used prior to Kid City backup supplies.

  • While we do allow cloth diaper usage in Kid City, we leave it up to our volunteers to decide if they are comfortable changing cloth diapers. If a volunteer has been told a child wears cloth diapers, but does not feel comfortable changing a cloth diaper, the parent/guardian will be contacted through text at the time the child needs changing.

Soiled clothes

  • If a child soils their clothes, volunteers will first check if spare clothing has been provided in their diaper bag. If no additional clothing has been provided, volunteers will contact parents..

Potty Training

  • All potty-training children will be assigned to the Toddler classroom. Only once a child is reasonably potty trained will they ‘graduate’ to the preschool classroom.

  • Only female volunteers may take children into the bathroom. As necessary and authorized by that parent/guardian, volunteers will assist children with dressing/undressing, wiping, and washing hands.

Proper Touch

  • Physical contact should be age and developmentally appropriate and is only appropriate when done publicly.

  • Hugging is only permissible when initiated by the child, and volunteers should always distance themselves from full body-to-body hugs, aiming instead for side-hugs.

  • Extended hugs, tickling, prolonged physical contact of any kinds is not appropriate.

  • Lap-sitting is only appropriate for children under two years old.

  • Children who are hurt or upset may be comforted as appropriate by volunteers, but it should be brief and instructive for the child rather than prolonged.

  • Children will never be touched in any area that would be covered by a bathing suit (except female volunteers, when assisting with diapering or toileting).

  • Volunteers will never encourage kissing in Kid City, either between kids, or child-to-adult.

  • When serving as a volunteer, parents must observe these policies even with their own children who may be in their class, as other observers may not know they are the parent and we want to display excellence even in appearances.

Reporting Issues/Abuse

  • All issues about child safety or suspected inappropriate behavior or abuse by volunteers should immediately be reported to either Raz Bradley (803) 447 2598, or Isaac Hill (803) 479 7864. If Raz or Isaac cannot be reached, or are suspected themselves, please reach out to one of Mill City’s pastors.

  • If you suspect that a child involved in any of the programs of Mill City Church has been abused (see below for details), the following steps are to be followed:

    • Do not interview the child regarding the suspected abuse. This could be considered leading the child.

    • Do not discuss the suspected abuse with other volunteers, parents, etc. All information regarding the child should be kept confidential with your ministry supervisor and the proper authorities.

    • You may be asked to complete a Suspected Child Abuse Report. Confidentiality will be maintained as much as possible.

    The National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse designed the definitions below:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can be defined as a non-accidental injury, which may include beatings, violent shaking, human bites, strangulation, suffocation, poisoning, or burns. The results may be bruises and welts, broken bones, scars permanent disfigurement, long-lasting psychological damage, serious internal injuries, brain damage or death.

Physical/Emotional Neglect

Physical/Emotional neglect is the failure to provide a child with basic needs including food, clothing, education, shelter, and medical care; also abandonment and inadequate supervision.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is constituted through the sexual exploitation of a child by an older person as in rape, incest, fondling of the genitals, exhibitionism or pornography. It may be done for the sexual gratification of the older person, out of a need for power or economic reasons (such as prostitution, etc.).

Emotional Maltreatment

A pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional development and a sense of self-worth, such as constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, and manipulation. It can also be defined as providing no love, support, or guidance for the child.