Welcome to Buechel Park Children & Family Ministry!
We are a church who loves our children. Here, we seek to demonstrate the love of Christ to through care and safety, developmentally appropriate lessons that engage kids where they are, and a wealth of opportunities to be involved in the life of the church beyond children’s programming.
Children’s programming is offered for birth – 6th grade (6th graders go through a “transition year” in which they can take part in children’s and/or youth programming with the guidance of parents and pastors.)
Visitors are always welcome! To find out more, please contact Sara Clarke Turpin, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation.
Regular Activities & Information
Alleluia Kids (Music & More!)
Alleluia Kids is our music and more program, which includes children’s choir, handbells and other instruments, drama, and other creative worship arts. This group meets after worship most Sundays from Noon – 12:30 pm. Children of all ages are invited to gather in Alleluia Music room in the Music Suite, on the 3rd floor, following the morning service to learn about music and to prepare to lead the congregation in worship.
Children in Worship
At Buechel Park, we believe that children should be welcomed into the full worship experience of the church body. However, we also know that children thrive with additional resources to help them learn and engage.
Nursery is available each Sunday for infants – age 3.
Godly Play is offered for children ages 4 – 6th grade and currently meets during the latter part of the worship hour most Sunday mornings. We do not meet on Communion Sundays and holiday weekends.
The Worship Cart is filled with resources for children and worshipers of all ages who would like to creatively engage in worship. There are activity-based worship guides, children’s Bibles and books, crayons and pencils, paper and coloring pages, clipboards, quiet fidget and sensory items, along with rotating seasonal items and complete with a canvas bag to borrow all of your supplies in.
Godly Play is offered for children ages 4 – 5th grade and currently meets during the latter part of the worship hour most Sunday mornings. We do not meet on Communion Sundays and holiday weekends.
“What is Godly Play? Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience through wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond.”
Nursery & Preschool
During worship, nursery is provided for ages 3 and younger, though parents are more than welcome to bring infants and young children with them to worship if they wish. During this time, the nursery is staffed by Nicole Davis, Preschool Director and a rotation of trained volunteers.
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Children's Ministry Policy
Buechel Park is committed to the safety and well-being of children. Our goals are to 1) Help children to experience the love of God, and 2) Help children to love God, others, and self. The following are the specifics of our policy, updated in September 2018.
Faith and Character – Volunteers should be of the Christian faith and of good character, striving to be an effective teacher by:
- helping children to love God, love others, and love self;
- studying and being prepared to teach the material for their sessions;
- modeling desired behavior;
- communicating care to children as individuals;
- creating an environment for learning; and
- understanding developmental levels of the children being worked with.
Background Checks – Background checks must be made on all workers age 18+, prior to employment or service. This must be repeated at least every 3rd year of service.
Six Months – All volunteers must be a member or steady visitor for at least six months.
Age Requirements – No one under 16 years of age will be responsible for caring of children. At least one of the two adults must be at least 18 years of age.
Training – All volunteers must attend scheduled BPBC training events and/or meet with a pastor, Preschool Director, or designated leader to be trained using this manual before working with our children.
Drug and Alcohol Policy – The possession of and/or being under the influence of illegal drugs or controlled substances is prohibited. The possession of and/or being under the influence of alcohol when serving with minors at BPBC is prohibited. Any illegal substances that are found will be turned over to the proper authorities and criminal prosecution may result.
Smoking – Clothing that is smoke-free should be worn while working with young children, especially infants. No smoking is permitted in the presence of children.
Dismissal – A worker may be asked to cease their service with our children at any time, for any reason deemed appropriate by a pastor.
SAFETY AND WELLBEING
Two Adults – Two adults who are not related to each other must be present at all times in each classroom area. In the nursery and preschool area, there should be at least one adult who is trained in infant CPR.
Adult to Child Supervision – Ratios for volunteers are: 1:2 infants, 1:6 preschool, 1:8 elementary. If the number of children exceeds the number of volunteers, please contact a pastor or the Preschool Director for assistance.
Injury Prevention – Volunteers must help prevent injury to themselves, volunteers, and children. Report any unsafe condition immediately and take responsibility to eliminate hazards that you observe in your routine in order to avoid accidents.
Open Windows/Doors – All rooms where minors are meeting have windows (in doors or walls), half doors, or open doors for all teaching/learning activities. Maintain an open window/door at all times when working with children.
Confidentiality – There may be times that, as a caregiver for children, volunteers will learn personal information about families. All information concerning children, their parents, relatives, or guardians shall be held in strictest confidence. However, if there is evidence or suspicion of neglect, abuse, or a potentially dangerous situation, you must report immediately according to the “Reporting Abuse” procedure.
Reporting Abuse – Any instance of suspected child abuse or neglect must be reported immediately to a pastor and to the authorities. It is a requirement of Kentucky State Law that abuse or suspicion of abuse be reported. Do not rely on anybody else do this for you, but do enlist the help of a BPBC minister. Kentucky’s Statewide Child Abuse Hotline Number is 1-877-597-2331 (Toll Free).
Registered Sex Offenders – Any person who is a registered sex offender, regardless of the circumstances, will not volunteer with minors. He or she is also not permitted in the children’s hallway, youth suite, or other areas when activities are taking place which are intended for minors.
Body Ownership – All minors are the owners of their own bodies. This means that no minor should be forced or excessively encouraged to give physical affection or touch of any kind. If a child is uncomfortable, that is to be respected and arrangements are to be made to encourage body autonomy.
Illness/Accidents – In order to protect all children, parents are requested not to leave a child who is or appears ill. Should any child be found to have an illness or accident, his or her parents will be notified immediately. If an accident occurs or illness is suspected, the “Boo-Boo Report” must be filled out. A copy shall be given to parents and a pastor or Preschool Director.
Disaster Plans – Review the fire escape route for your room and always remain with the children.
Fire: Proceed out the doors by the planned route, or away from the danger, and go immediately to the side lawn (next to the Green Meadows Apartments) to reunite with families. In the case of multiple infants or toddlers that cannot be carried and where the fire is not present in the sanctuary/office area, place children in a rolling crib or stroller, enter the sanctuary by the far entrance and exit out the narthex. Do not use the elevator.
Tornado: In the case of a tornado warning, proceed to the basement youth suite entrance area if possible, with all doors closed. Do not use the elevator.
Strangers and difficult persons: Only authorized volunteers and parents/guardians are permitted in the children’s areas. Seek immediate help in case of trouble with anyone. The safety of the children must be your first consideration.
Elementary Check-In/Out – All children, birth – 6th grade, are to be checked in and out using the KidCheck system, located at the entrance to the Children’s Hallway, or immediately inside the door to the Children’s Library.
Grades K – 3 – Children in these grades must be dropped off and picked up by parents or a designated responsible adult or youth. At no time may parents allow children this age and younger to be unattended when in our church building. Parents must stay with their child if the teacher or leader is not present upon arrival.
Grades 4 – 6 – Children these ages are allowed to go to/from activities in a given area of the church on their own. Instructions must be given to these children so that they know where to meet adults after activities and they must go directly to their meeting spot. If a child is found in an area they should not be in, or if the child is not able to be responsible for oneself in this way, a pastor and their parents will be informed and discussion about how best to proceed will follow. If a child must leave a program early, parents must contact the child’s leader or send a note to the class stating what time the child is to meet and where.
Discipline – Discipline for children should be a positive experience. An explanation of what is expected of the child will be regularly reviewed by leaders and posted in classrooms. The use of time out is used as a last resort, with the maximum time being the number of minutes equal to the age of the child (Example: 3 years old no longer than 3 minutes) and providing positive redirecting activities during this time, such as reading or coloring. If necessary, remove the child from the room and contact a parent. Corporal punishment is never allowed.
Teaching Resources – If resources (paper, crayons, teaching curriculum) are needed, you may go to the resource room and take what you need. Please return items as you found them.
Cleanliness – There are multiple groups using many of our children’s spaces. Please help to keep our areas safe and clean for children by putting away supplies, putting trash in garbage cans, and generally making sure the area is ready for the next scheduled group of children.
NURSERY AND PRESCHOOL SPECIFICS
Nursery and Preschool Check-In/Out – All children, birth – 6th grade, are to be checked in and out using the KidCheck system, located at the entrance to the Children’s Hallway, or immediately inside the door to the Children’s Library.
Shoes in the Nursery – No shoes are to be worn in the nursery room. Anybody entering the nursery shall remove their shoes and wear clean socks or cover shoes with the provided plastic covers.
Diaper Changes – Babies must be checked and changed regularly based on the time they are in your care. The diaper changing pad must be cleaned after each use and caregivers must wash their hands. Keep the top of the diaper changing area free of all items except for those needed for that particular diaper change. Record diaper changes on child’s report.
Bathroom Visits – Young children who are potty trained should be taken to the bathroom at least once during every 2 hour block.
SIDS – SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Unless other directions are given, babies should be placed to sleep alone and in a crib on their backs with no other objects (blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys) in the crib. Babies who arrive asleep in car seats or who fall asleep in a rocker should be routinely monitored to be sure that their airways are clear and that their heads have not fallen into a compromising position. Clothing that is smoke-free should be worn while working with infants and toddlers.
Used Toys – Sterilize toys using the cleaning equipment available in the nursery or place small toys in the nursery sink or provided bins to be cleaned at a later time.
Food – Nursery and preschool children may only be given food that is provided by or approved by the parent/guardian. Please follow all given instructions if food is to be given and be aware of any allergies for each child in your care.
Reports – Verbal or written reports should be given to parents as they pick up young children. These should include information concerning: diaper changes and/or potty visits, infant naps, feedings, and any other relevant information. Written reports are available on the clipboard on the wall near the changing station.
Upcoming Events / Announcements
October 2021 Children's Events
Masks and social distancing are required for all children ages 2 and up, as well as adults working with children. Children’s activities are meeting in larger spaces so that we can spread out and continue to meet in-person as safely as possible.
Godly Play Schedule:
Godly Play will meet in the lower level youth suite throughout September.
Sunday, October 3 – No Godly Play (World Communion Sunday)
Sunday, October 10 – The Exodus
Sunday, October 17 – The Ten Best Ways
Sunday, October 24 – The Ark & the Tent
Sunday, October 31 – The Ark & the Temple
Alleluia Kids Schedule:
Alleluia Kids will meet Sundays, October 3, 10, 24, & 31 after worship from 12:00 – 12:30 PM in the lower level youth suite.
November 2021 Children's Events
& AlMasks and social distancing are required for all children ages 2 and up, as well as adults working with children.
Godly Play Schedule:
Godly Play meets in the Godly Play room in the 2nd floor children’s hallway.
Sunday, November 7 – No Godly Play (Communion Sunday & All Saints)
Sunday, November 14 – The Exile & Return
Sunday, November 21 – The Prophets
Sunday, November 28 – No Godly Play (Advent 1 & Hanging of the Green)
Alleluia Kids Schedule:
Alleluia Kids will meet Sundays, November 7, 14, 28 after worship from 12:00 – 12:30 PM in the Alleluia Kids room in the 3rd floor music suite.