Policies & Procedures

Preschool and Children’s Ministry
Guiding Principles

Principle 1: Decisions are based on church-approved policies and reflect our values of Biblical Truth, Intimacy with Jesus, Intentional Hospitality, Ministry Excellence, and City Renewal.

Principle 2: Children deserve the best that the church has to offer. Decisions and procedures will always consider what is best for the child.

Principle 3: Children’s rooms, furnishings, and supplies belonging to the children assigned to the room, and the teachers will model Christian cooperation through planning related to these resources. Everything in the room should relate to the program and session in progress.

Principle 4: Teachers are encouraged to grow spiritually and mentally through training and planning, and live by the Biblical standards being taught to the children through the mission and vision of our church.

Principle 5: These policies and procedures should apply to all ministries with volunteers who serve preschoolers and children.

Preschool and Children’s Ministry Policies

The following policies are provided as a guideline to help protect the volunteers, preschoolers, and children who attend any ministry-related programming at Bellevue Baptist Church. These policies also apply to satellite campuses and other off-site activities sponsored by Bellevue.

 

  • “Parent” refers to a legal caregiver or guardian of a child.
  • “Volunteer” or “teacher” refer to a person serving and not receiving pay related to the event or program.
  • “Staff” refers to a person employed by Bellevue and fulfilling a paid capacity at the time of the event or program activity.
  • “Classroom” refers to any meeting area or space being used for the care of children.
Security Check-In

As you enter please visit one of the computer kiosks located in the East Lobby or Preschool hallways. Access you child’s data by entering the phone number that is provided in our file. This will prompt a check-in screen. Click the desired choice and then click proceed. The system will generate a series of nametags. For babies please bring the labels to the classroom door. For ages 1–5, please place the tag with your child’s name on their back or shoulder. This allows the classroom teacher to view the name tag if needed. Place the additional tag with your child’s name on their personal diaper bag. You keep the tag with the printed security code. This security code tag MUST BE PRESENTED when picking up your preschooler. Please know that each label has five security overrides attached to each printing. This is provided for extra safety for all preschoolers and children who attend programming at Bellevue.

Allergies

Parents are asked to notify staff of all known allergies and other medical issues. This information is critical to the protection and safety of the child. Several allergies carry life-threatening symptoms, and proper communication is critical. Children’s allergy information can be added to the child’s printed name tag for easy identification. Bellevue is not considered a nut-free environment.

Medications

All medications must be given by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers are not allowed to administer medications.

Drop Off/Pick Up

Parents are asked to drop off and pick up all preschoolers and children at the child’s classroom. Siblings under the age of 16 are not allowed to drop off or pick up preschoolers or children. All parents must present a pick up ticket/bracelet before a child can be released from the classroom. Third graders can be released from class if a signed parent permission form is on file.

Parent Service Policy

In keeping with our Vision Frame’s strategy component, all parents are asked and expected to Serve In at Bellevue on a weekly basis. For more information on how you can become involved, please speak with a Preschool or Children’s staff member.

Parent/Child Dedication Policy

All parents requesting involvement in the Parent/Child Dedication Service will be asked to attend a 1-hour dedication class before being allowed to participate in the service. This class will be offered quarterly. The parent(s) must be members in good standing.

Children's Baptism Policy

Children wanting to be baptized must have celebrated their 5th birthday, expressed a genuine understanding of the salvation process, be able to communicate personal details related to their salvation transformation, have made a profession of faith, and attended the Next Steps class for children. This policy is provided to ensure adequate maturity and a genuine understanding of the salvation process.

Registration Deadlines

At various times, registration is required to attend certain activities. All registration deadlines are expected to be followed by all parents.

Promotion

All children will be promoted according to the following guidelines: Babies—two year-olds will be promoted according to the needs of the child or need of the church (This is determined by the Preschool Ministry staff according to the size/development and growth of a child or classroom attendance size). Three year-olds—3rd graders will be promoted on a yearly basis with the goal being that the child is in a classroom with other children their age/grade. Promotion cutoff dates will follow the Shelby County School guidelines unless otherwise stated.

Mandatory Reporting

The Preschool/Children’s Ministry of Bellevue Baptist Church is considered a mandatory reporting agency. Our staff and volunteers are required by Tennessee state law to report all cases, or suspected cases, of child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect occur when a child is mistreated, resulting in injury or risk of harm. The abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual.

If a volunteer observes any indication of abuse involving a child or is given any indication of such abuse in discussions with a child, they must contact a Preschool/Children’s ministry staff member to obtain instructions on how to report it to the appropriate state agency.

Each volunteer is expected to be alert to situations when other adults or workers come into contact with children in the church’s care. If a volunteer observes any individual (e.g. parent, sibling, co-volunteer) interacting in an abusive manner with a child or student, he/she is expected to immediately contact a staff member.

Visibility

Volunteers should maintain full visibility to a classroom entrance while with children. (No closed windowless doors, hidden corners, etc.)

Teacher/Leadership/Volunteer Training

All Preschool and Children’s Ministry volunteers are asked to make every effort to attend training opportunities on a regular basis.

Disrespectful Behavior

Children who willingly disobey and repeatedly disrupt classroom activities will be given a 3-strike warning. Following the 3-strike warning, parents will be notified and a personal meeting with the Children’s Ministry staff will determine the behavior’s outcome.

Wall Surfaces

All wall surfaces can be used for classroom teaching activities, as long as proper care is provided to preserve the well-being of the church facilities.

Homemade Food Items

Food items should be store-bought and served from their original containers in order to prevent food allergy concerns. No homemade items should be brought or served in the classroom.

Volunteer Child Policy

Students in the 6th grade or older may serve in the Children’s Ministry apart from their parents. Younger students’ service is allowed when a parent is present and the child remains under the classroom volunteer leadership. Student volunteers will be expected to follow all policies related to the care of children.

Volunteer Grace Period

Those desiring to serve in the Preschool/ Children’s Ministry will be expected to wait a period of six months from joining the church before serving.

Sickness

Parents are asked to not bring children into a Preschool and Children’s Ministry classroom or event if they have, or have had, any of the following symptoms in the previous 24 hours: vomiting, diarrhea, elevated temperature, discolored mucus, rash, or other contagious symptoms.

Classroom Snack/Eating

A standard snack of crackers and water will be provided for preschoolers. On occasion your child may be offered food items that relate to the biblical learning activity in the curriculum. When this happens, a sign will be posted. Parents are expected to notify volunteers of allergy concerns.

Personal Items

Younger preschoolers may bring a personal item from home, but items should be labeled with the child’s name before dropping off in the preschool classroom. Older children are encouraged to leave personal items at home. Cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices sometimes have Bible software and are permitted in the classroom; however, the Children’s Ministry will not be responsible for lost items.

On-Campus Policy

Unless an event dictates otherwise, parents are expected to be on campus and involved in church-related programming while preschoolers and children are in the care of Bellevue Baptist Church.

Open Door Policy

Parents are welcome to visit their child’s classroom. Please keep in mind that entering the classroom can deliver additional unwanted germs and cause confusion for some children. A visiting parent is not considered a volunteer unless qualified by the same process as all volunteers.

Next Steps for Children

All children making a public profession of faith or desiring baptism will be asked and encouraged to attend a 3-session class for new Christians prior to being baptized. This class will be offered each month except June and December. At least one parent needs to attend each session with their child. Registration information can be found at Bellevue.org/next-steps-for-children

Opening/Closing Facility

The Preschool and Children’s Ministry will open 15 minutes before a session begins and will close 15 minutes after a session ends. Please call for your child immediately after the session ends.

Church Childcare

Childcare will be offered for a maximum of 3 hours per session. Additional specific policies are included in the Church Childcare Policies.

Application/Background Form

All volunteers will be required to fill out a Confidential Volunteer Application(CVA) and pass a background check before serving with children(age is 17 or lower).

Church membership is an additional level of accountability and is also required. An online form can be found at https://bellevue.formstack.com/forms/cva.

Supervision

Volunteers are expected to always provide reasonable supervision and quality care of the children. Children should always be accompanied by two volunteers when out of the classroom. (Playgrounds, worship care transition, etc.)

Biblical Teaching

All preschool and children’s volunteers will teach Biblical truth using age-suitable foundational principles that allow children to learn in a small group environment with authentic hands-on learning activities. The children should be taught key biblical concepts that lead to a life of transformation. The key concepts include God, Jesus, Creation, the Bible, Community/Missions, The World, Self, The Church, Salvation/Baptism, and the Holy Spirit. Teachers will use the provided curriculum or content guide and follow the planned structure of weekly content laid out in the curriculum or guide.

Medications

All medications must be given by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers are not allowed to administer medications.

Classrooms

All classroom volunteers will strive to provide the absolute best teaching environment for preschoolers and children. This means that the classroom belongs to the teacher assigned to that room for that hour and that teachers can use the room at their discretion. Please remember that the classroom must be returned to its original state for the next teacher/volunteer.

Outdoor Classroom

All teachers are encouraged to use God’s amazing creations as a teaching tool as often as possible. Children should never be out of sight of the teachers.

Allergy Alert Signs

Classroom standard snack is crackers and water. If there is an occasion when a child is offered food items related to the biblical learning activity in the curriculum, a sign must be posted. If food is used in a craft, a sign should be posted even if the food is not intended to be eaten.

Inclement Weather

Proper communication will be provided for all schedule changes due to inclement weather conditions.

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