Discoveryland Ministry Policies
Discoveryland will not accept children that exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- ANY communicable disease
- Fever, vomiting, or diarrhea within the last 24 hours
- Eye infections
- Sore throat, coughing or sneezing
- Colored nasal discharge, including infections
- Any skin infections, rashes or eruptions
In order to better minister and care for your child, we ask that you please send your child in a pull-up if he/she is potty training but is not yet potty-trained. We will still assist you in the potty training process by taking your child to the bathroom when he/she needs to go.As you know, accidents do happen. However, our goal is to provide the best possible care for your child and that includes maintaining a clean and sanitary room.
POTTY TRAINED VS. POTTY TRAINING
- We describe a child as potty trained if the parent can drop off the child with no special instructions about taking the child to the bathroom. The potty trained child will tell a worker if they need to go.
- If a child needs to be asked whether they need to go to the restroom or if the parent tells you to take the child at certain times or time intervals, the child is potty training.
In Discoveryland we ask that our volunteers never enter the bathroom alone with a child. This procedure protects YOU and the children we serve. Our preschool bathrooms are located in the classroom. Volunteers are to coach a small child from outside the bathroom with the top portion of the door open at all times. If the volunteer must enter the bathroom to assist a small child, another volunteer will come to stand near the door to observe with the top portion of the door open. Men are exempt from changing diapers or assisting toddlers in the restroom. Children using hallway restrooms will enter the restroom alone and the volunteer will supervise from the hallway (children are to use Discoveryland designated restrooms during services). If a volunteer needs to enter the restroom to assist, another volunteer will be called to accompany the volunteer.
It is important that Discoveryland has a consistent approach to correcting and guiding children when they are entrusted to us during all of our events. We will operate under these assumptions:
- You have arrived in your classroom early and prepared.
- You have a clear understanding of the age and developmental expectations for the age group you work with.
- You have clearly and frequently explained our expectations to the kids.
- You are fair and consistent with all the children.
- You have created an environment that has removed distractions and engages the mind and body of the children you are working with.
- You give kids ample warnings before changing activities.
- You rely on the power of prayer.
- You are partnering with the parents in the spiritual development of our children.
- The adult to student ratio is being respected.
- All adults lead by example.
- Parents understand Discoveryland is a privilege for children to attend and we cannot allow the disruptive actions of one to destroy the experience of the larger group. Discoveryland activities are not provided as a babysitting service.
Discoveryland will use the following steps in course correction:
Step one (verbal warning)
Privately explain to the child of their inappropriate behavior and offer corrective solutions. Allow the child to verbalize their actions. Be certain that you and the child are clear in understanding the inappropriate behavior. Seek out and offer positive solutions. Pray with the child. Inform the child of Step Two.
Step Two (refocus)
Offer a time-out for the child to think through their actions and how they must remedy them. Seek out and offer positive solutions. A time-out chair is not punishment. It is a time and place for a child to cool down, collect themselves and refocus. Pray with the child. Inform the child of Step Three.
Step Three (parental involvement)
Privately explain to the child that you will page their parent from the adult service to assist with this situation. This discussion needs to include two adults from the classroom or leadership structure (team coach, director or Discoveryland staff).
- Infants: 1 adult to 2 children
- Crawlers: 1 adult to 2 children
- Walkers: 1 adult to 3 children
- Toddlers: 1 adult to 4 children
- 2s/4s: 1 adult to 6 children
- Pre-K: 1 adult to 8 children
- K/1st grade: 1 adult to 8 children
- 2nd – 4th grade: 1 adult to 10 children
Jesus asks us to serve others throughout the New Testament. Serving the children, parents, and other volunteers in Discoveryland is just one way we can serve within our very own church. Serving is a privilege, and we need you to take it seriously and be responsible! Here are some pointers to help you serve with success.
- Be on time.
- Be mature.
- Find a sub when you need one.
- Interact with the kids. The hour and a half you spend serving kids’ needs to be focused on them.
- Let the adults lead the room.
- Never check kids in or out.
- Never be alone with a child.
- Never take a child to the bathroom alone. (Note: Young men are exempt from assisting in the bathroom.)
- Help children with everything clean up, craft, and play.
- Always wear your Discoveryland volunteer badge.