Use these tips to ensure your children’s ministry offers a safe and secure, COVID-friendly experience for all kids and families.
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” Psalm 37:3
The data is coming in: schools that are following COVID precautions are successfully mitigating the spread of the virus in children. Here are tips you can follow to ensure your children’s programs are following best practices.
Use These Tips to Help Mitigate COVID
We know that safety is always a priority in children’s ministry. You’re used to stocking those first-aid kits, background-checking every volunteer, triple-checking every registration form for allergies, and making sure kids stay safe while they’re in your care. But being COVID-friendly adds a new level of safety regulations to consider. To take some of the guesswork out of this new responsibility, we’ve come up with a checklist of ideas for how you can create a safe and healthy ministry.
- Research and follow CDC and local guidelines.
- Use pool noodles (we know you have them) or colorful beach towels as markers to help kids remember to keep appropriately distanced.
- Have kids bring their own water bottles, labeled with their names.
- Create a Sanitization Squad. This clean-loving crew can be responsible for sanitizing areas in between rotations and classes.
- Keep two sets of supplies for each rotation so one set can be sanitized while the other set is being used.
- Place hand sanitizer in every classroom. You can also include travel size hand sanitizer for small groups.
- Use pre-packaged snack items.
- If masks are required in your area, keep a stash on hand in case a kid (or leader) forgets one.
- Get creative with new friend-making routines. Rather than hugs and high-fives, let kids come up with goofy, clever ways to say hello…without getting close to each other. Air-fives, funny faces, and chicken dances are all welcomed!
- Ask teachers for their ideas. Many schools are meeting in person, with unique ways to keep kids safe, distant, and healthy. Brainstorm with a few teachers to see what they’ve learned and implemented.
Communicate Clearly and Regularly
One of the most important steps to returning to in-person ministry is to effectively communicate to families the steps you are taking to limit the spread of COVID. Use verbal communication, emails, texts, social media, posters, bulletin inserts–any way you normally communicate. And remember: a one-time communication about the safeguards you’ve put in place isn’t sufficient. You’ll need to communicate on a regular basis as a reminder and as a reassurance that you’re following safety protocols. Remember: When parents realize you’re taking safety seriously, your church becomes a safe place to be.