West Side Children FAQ
Click on a question to find answers to frequently asked questions.
What is the appropriate age for me to start bringing my child to Redeemer's nursery?
We welcome children at any age but recommend that they are about two months old and have begun receiving immunizations prior to being dropped off. Also, we have noticed that children who are dropped off prior to eight months old are much less likely to experience separation anxiety.
- Fever of 100 or higher—there is a thermometer at the third floor desk
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye or other eye infection)
- Nasal drainage that is green or yellow
- Sore throat
- Open sores
- Excessive coughing
If a child develops any of these symptoms while in class, the parent will be paged to pick up the child. If a parent cannot be reached via cell phone or our paging system, the child will stay outside of the class with the area supervisor or receptionist.
- Every parent is required to create a profile for their family at our check-in kiosks. This system generates our security tags.
- Every parent must print a name tag for their child and its corresponding security tag, which parents must retain, prior to entering the childcare area. This is a security measure to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the children.
- Once the name tag is printed, affix it to the child's back.
- Parents should retain the security tag portion as it allows access to the third and fourth floor hallways and to pick up their children from class.
- This security number may also be used to page parents in the sanctuary if their child is in need of extra attention in the nursery.
- No adult can pick up a child without a corresponding security tag unless allowed by direct consent and supervision of the receptionist or area supervisor.
What items should I bring to the nursery?
Please leave all toys and dolls at home as they can get lost or cause other children to be upset. Please adhere to these simple guidelines for items you do bring:
- Label all of your child's belongings, including diaper bags, cups, bottles, pacifiers, etc.
- All bottles must be pre-mixed. Nursery workers are not allowed to mix formula for health and sanitation reasons.
Who will care for my child?
Nursery classes are led by a combination of weekly staff and volunteers. Because we want to provide the best care for your child, we closely monitor the adult-child ratio in each classroom. Should a classroom go over the appropriate ratio, the area supervisor or receptionist will ask parents to volunteer. On occasion, a classroom may be closed.
Staff and volunteers are required to complete an application process, which includes mandatory trainings and background check. We hold comprehensive trainings to 1) ensure our volunteers understand and follow our policies and 2) enable them to nurture our children.
Youth must be at least 16 years old to work in the nursery, 12 years old to work in the 2's classrooms, and middle school-age to work in preschool.
In the event that there are last-minute volunteers who have not been screened, they will be approved by the area supervisor and placed with a volunteer or staff member who has been background checked.
Staff and volunteers are entrusted to teach the children of Redeemer about the gospel. We ask that volunteers commit themselves to the responsibility of building a strong, spiritual foundation in the hearts of the children.
What if my child has separation anxiety?
Some children have a difficult time initially separating from their parents, but we hope you will find encouragement knowing that this natural developmental phase is brief. Our nursery workers are compassionate and are willing to help your child overcome his/her anxiety.
We recommend parents to stay with their child for no more than three weeks. During this period, you will become familiar with how our nursery is organized and run. If separation anxiety continues past this point, we could work with you to begin our graduated system of separation, which has helped children ranging from infancy to preschool. Parents follow a pattern of gradually increasing the separation time from their kids. Our graduated approach to separation includes:
- Quick drop-off at the classroom gate, no lingering.
- Tell your child that you will return in 10 minutes, and return as promised each week.
- Upon your return, stay in the classroom with your child for the remainder of the class time.
- The following weeks you will follow the same routine, increasing the time away by 5 to 10 minutes each week.
This process usually takes three to five weeks. Graduated separation helps us work with you to teach your child that you will always come back to take care of them. It also enables you to begin attending the worship service without worrying about your child. They are in good hands and learning about our great God!
Here are a few more tips for easing separation anxiety:
- Ensure that your child is well rested, healthy and fed prior to the church service.
- Stay calm and assured during the separation. Since children naturally absorb insecurities, remain confident in your child and in the nursery workers’ care.
- Leave in a timely manner. Belaboring the process accentuates emotions.
- Develop a special goodbye routine. It could be a silly tickle, a high five, a hug, kisses in the hand to keep, kisses thrown in the air to catch, or a favorite phrase such as “See you later alligator.” Say goodbye in this way on a regular basis.
- Realize that this is a natural developmental phase.
- Pray for your child before the separation and during the church service.
- Celebrate small victories and encourage your child in love.
Please know that if your child is upset, struggling or if there are discipline problems, we will contact you by displaying your security tag number on screens in the sanctuary.
Where can I breastfeed my child?
On our fifth floor, there is an enclosed area where mothers may nurse during the service while hearing an audio feed of the service. Mothers are also welcome to come to our nursery if their child needs to be fed during class time.
How do you handle allergies and other chronic health conditions?
If your child has any allergies or special conditions, please explain them to the staff member leading your child's class. For allergies, make sure that a note about the allergy has been made in the check-in account. If the allergy is correctly notated in the system, it will appear on the printed name tag. For children with severe allergies requiring an EpiPen, please give it to the lead teacher.
- Infants/Crawlers (Yellow): 1 adult:3 children
- Walkers (Green, Teal): 1 adult:4 children
- Two's (Red, Orange): 1 adult:5 children
Because we want to provide the best care for your child, we closely monitor the adult-child ratio in each classroom. Should a classroom go over the appropriate ration, the area supervisor or receptionist will ask parents to volunteer. On occasion, a classroom may be closed.
There is a two-adult rule in place for all classrooms. This means there should always be two adults, at least one of whom is a woman, present while children are there. This is to protect the children from the possibility of abuse and to protect the adults from false accusations. If there is an inevitable situation in which there is only one adult, the door to the room should be open.
What happens to my child if the fire alarm goes off?
If the fire alarm sounds while parents are in service, they must follow the evacuation instructions out of the auditorium. Parents flooding the childcare area will cause congestion and prevent the children from being able to safely evacuate the building.
All staff and volunteers are aware of the plan to follow in case of an emergency. The supervisors will be responsible for getting everyone out of the building and helping people to follow the evacuation plans in their designated areas.
In the event of an emergency, the W83 building evacuation plan for infants and children from the third and fourth floors is as follows:
- Ambulatory Children: Deputy Fire Wardens and assistants will evacuate children via stairwell “B” and out onto the W 83 St sidewalk. Staff and children will then proceed in a calm, organized manner to the rendezvous location at the NE corner of Amsterdam Ave and 82 St. Communication will be made by two-way radio between Children’s Ministry staff to establish progress and status.
- Infants: infants will be evacuated via stairwell “B” and placed in infant evacuation carts that are stored in the lobby stroller room. Infants and staff will then proceed to the rendezvous location at the NE corner of Amsterdam Ave and 82 St. Communication will be made by two-way radio between Children’s Ministry staff to establish progress and status.
- Parents will pick up their children at Amsterdam Ave and 82 St. Parents should not go to children’s floors.
- Accounting for children: teachers will have attendance sheets with them and will check attendance the rendezvous location.
Does West Side Children have a security policy?
In order to keep our hallway secure, we have a security guard and a Children’s Ministry staff person present at all times. In order to enter the hallway, parents or guardians must present the security tag they received at check-in. Adults without a security tag will not be permitted into the hallway unless escorted by a staff member.
Information about children, staff and volunteers in the nursery may not be distributed for any reason without appropriate consent.
How do I enroll my child in West Side Children?
When you arrive at our building, please go to the third floor where the receptionist can register your family. You will need to provide the following information:
- parent/guardian name, date of birth, email, cell phone number;
- child’s name, date of birth, allergy information.
A staff member will help you select the proper class for your child, based on age and development markers.
Once your child is enrolled in a class, you may print name tags and security tags. Your child must wear this name tag in order to be permitted to class. Please retain your child’s corresponding security tag, which is necessary for pick-up and also serves as a paging code if your child needs assistance during class time. This security code changes each week.
When you return to Redeemer, you will be able to easily sign your child into class by typing in your cell phone number, selecting the appropriate class and printing your new tags.
My child has special needs. May I still bring him/her?
Redeemer West Side Children is committed to caring for children with special needs. Please inform a staff person that your child has special needs and discuss with the class teachers any special instructions for caring for your child. Please attend class with your child for several weeks in order to become acquainted with the classroom environment. During this time, please help the staff and volunteers understand any routines and practices that will help your child get the most out of the program. We welcome suggestions for how we can best serve your family.
If your child needs one-on-one attention, we can introduce him/her to one of our special needs buddies, who are attentive to your child's unique needs and are patient as he/she learns about Jesus. With a special needs buddy, your child will be in a small classroom environment for the majority of the class time, as well as spend time in a larger classroom setting for worship and praise time. Please email our elementary coordinator and curriculum specialist, Julia Boyes, at [email protected] for more information about our special needs program.
Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about Redeemer West Side Children's?
For more information about our classes, programming or other concerns, contact us at [email protected].