The top priority of any children’s ministry program should be the safety and security of the students. Having worked with many children’s ministries over the years, we’ve developed some best practices that can help keep your students safe.
Record the sign in and sign out times of each student.
It is essential that you have a record of when each student was actually in your care. Knowing the exact time that each student arrived and was picked up will both limit your liability and increase the children’s accountability.
See how Best Attendance can increase student accountability.
Require parents to present a card when picking up their children.
This might not be necessary in small ministries with stable memberships, where the same kids come each week and you know all of the parents personally. But if you don’t personally know all of the parents, or you have different kids arriving each week, well, to be blunt, you need to make sure that you’re giving the right kid to the right parent. This is especially important for children of divorced parents, where a non-custodial parent might want to pick up their child.
One system that works well is to give each parent a card, or an identification badge, with a number or bar code on it, and require that the parent use the same card when they pick up the student as they did when they dropped off the student.
Learn how Best Attendance can improve the safety and security of your check-in system.
Require photo identification for students.
Let’s face it, it’s sometimes difficult to remember the names of a roomful of young kids. A check-in system that displays the child’s photo when they sign in and out will help you verify that you really are checking in the student that you think you are. This is especially true if you are tracking attendance, because kids sometimes have a tendency to cover for their friends. A check-in system with member photos will keep students accountable and make it impossible for them to sign in as someone else.
Learn how Best Attendance enforces photo identification.
Record which students brought guests.
It’s great when students bring along guests who are not part of your youth group, but keeping track of them is especially important. If a child arrives with two friends, make sure that the child leaves with the same two friends.
Learn how Best Attendance helps you track guests to your children’s ministry.
Note special concerns for each student.
Students with medical conditions, emotional needs, or special social concerns require more attention than other students. Maybe the child needs medication, or perhaps a parent is worried that her child is having a hard time making friends. Recording notes about students with special needs will help you decide who you need to pay special attention to.
Learn how Best Attendance helps you keep special notes on each student.
About Best Attendance
Best Attendance is a secure, online tool that was built to help youth ministries like yours improve safety and accountability. Starting with the suggestions mentioned above will leave you and your students’ parents with less to worry about.
The best part about this online tool is that you can try it free for 45 days to see if it works for you. Don’t worry; it’s very easy to use, and you can get started in minutes. Sign up for your free account today!