We are excited to come alongside you, planting seeds of God’s Word in children’s hearts, teaching them about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe even our littlest ones can learn! We are here to plant the seeds of God’s Word in our little children and provide a safe, loving and consistent environment so that they might one day come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Our Mission is for the Nursery to be a place of:
Safety: where children’s bodies, minds, and emotions are safe.
Teaching: where the littlest child is taught about Jesus.
Community: where workers can find community and friendship.
Shared Tasks: where many workers share the joy of the work.
Shared Ideas: an example of innovation, multiculturalism, and organization.
Our classes are taught by volunteer teams, many are parents just like you, who commit weekly for six or more months. We keep a small child-to-adult ratio for relationship building and safety. Although most of these team members are not professional teachers, their spirit and faithfulness to The Lord in this ministry makes us feel like they are! Classes are grouped by age and/or physical ability – the activities and methods used are consistent with the group’s general abilities and needs. The children matriculate classes by age:
- Infants Class (Room B-12) Newborn to 18 months in age.
This class is equipped with play pens, rocking chairs, swings,bouncers, books and toys.
Flexible schedule based on parents feeding and napping instructions.
- Toddler/Runabouts Class (Room A-3) Children 18 months to 3 years in age.
This class is equipped with a play pen, rocking chair, riding toys, building blocks, puzzles, books and toys.
Schedule includes circle time with bible story, songs and snack.
Regular learning experiences are planned and lessons are reinforced with songs, Bible sharing and supervised activities designed with the ability of children in mind. We pride ourselves in safety, fun, and biblical teaching of our littlest members of Antioch.
As you join us in this ministry, we encourage you to read the Bible to your children. Continue to familiarize them with the principles of His Word through the week.
Part of the success of Antioch’s Nursery Ministry is due to parents becoming involved and passionate about how the ministry operates. Our prayer is that we would be effective in helping to partner with parents in ministering to their little ones. We anticipate the Lord will do great things!
- Any symptoms other than a clear, runny nose
- Had a fever within the last 24 hours
- A cough, diarrhea or any other possible symptoms that indicates they are sick or contagious.
As an extra precaution, toys are regularly disinfected and cleaned.
What to Bring
When packing a diaper bag for your child, please include the following items:
- Two disposable diapers
- Plastic sack for soiled clothing
- Change of clothes
- Drinking cup
All items (including pacifiers and drinking cups) should be labeled with your child’s name. Diaper bag tags are available on request.
Snacks are provided for children age 11 months to 3 years. Children are served water and food items listed on the registration form. If your child has an allergy, please inform the Nursery Captain when you check in your child.
When You Arrive at Your Child’s Room
CHECK IN TIME starts 15 minutes prior to each service.
Check In Procedure:
- A nursery Captain will greet you and receive your child and diaper bag
- Any information will be noted that will help in caring for your child such as feeding times, sleeping times, allergies and special needs
- Also noted will be your child’s length of stay (one or two services) and your location
- An adhesive nametag will be applied to your child’s back
- You will be given a pager that has an identifying number on it. The pager will vibrate, so please hold or wear it at all times.
Children ages 11 months and older will have their hands cleaned with a non-water hand sanitizer. The sanitizer will be given in pea-sized amounts, administered by the parent, Nursery Captain or Nursery Helpers, helping the child gently rub their hands until it has evaporated.
After you have completed the check in process, simply wave a quick good-bye and leave for the worship service or your Bible class. As you may know, it is normal for little ones to cry when a parent leaves. This usually does not last long and separation becomes easier over time. Our nursery helpers will create interest in a toy, book, or activity and give assurance that you will return.
Hand-held vibrating pagers are provided for each child checked into the Nursery. The parent who accepts the pager is to wear it at all times when away from the child. If there is an emergency or problem involving the child, the pager will vibrate and the parent will need to come and address their child and/or the problem. The pager’s radius only includes the church building facilities. Therefore, the parent with the pager should remain on the premises while his/her child is in the nursery.
Crying children will be held, rocked, changed and/or fed. You will be contacted if crying continues for 10 minutes. You may give other instructions or make other arrangements with your Nursery Captain.
When You Pick Up Your Child
- Present the pager upon return to your child’s room. A child will not be released to a parent without the matching pager.
- Make sure that all of your child’s personal items have been returned to you before you leave. Lost and found items are retained for a short time. Items not claimed may be donated to a local thrift store.
Many look at our first goal – that the littlest child is taught about Jesus – and they wonder why we place such an emphasis on teaching babies. They are so young – do they really know what is going on? Does it matter? Can you really "teach" babies about God?
A mother at Antioch recently told me of her surprise to find this to be true. She noticed him at home with his little finger in the air, as he babbled happily. She didn't think much of it until she was a substitute worker in his nursery classroom and joined the class in singing "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." There she saw her little boy with his finger in the air, grinning.
Recent findings on brain development also suggest an affirmative answer to that question. "Babies are beginning to form associations about everything in their world, so how could you not begin introducing them to God and Jesus?" Lynette Henderson, a doctoral student at the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., asked. "Will they understand those concepts the way older children or adults will? Of course not. But you're laying a foundation."
She mentions that while the most important stages of brain development occur between birth and age 3, the earliest signs of it appear soon after conception. In-utero, fetuses are already aware of light and sounds, and studies have even shown children can recognize stories that were read to them while they were in their mother's womb. Laboratory work and imaging studies (such as MRIs and EEGs) have allowed scientists to learn much about brain development in babies in recent years.
A LifeWay leaflet mentioned these recent findings:
Repetition of activities helps build foundation -- Many abilities depend on the maturation of particular nerve cells. Repetition of activities is needed to strengthen neural networks. Repeating tasks -- sending the same messages to the brain over and over -- seems to result in chemical and anatomical changes that help a baby retain something he or she has learned.
There is a repetition of biblical principles in the classroom to help build that foundation.
Music has influence -- Music (listening, singing) trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Our curriculum ministers and workers sing with the children (who thankfully don't care if we can't carry a tune in a bucket!)
Babies learn spiritual truths the same way they learn other things -- through their senses, by doing and through relationships. This is why one of the things we focus on is to teach biblical truths to babies, rather than provide just a baby-sitting service for parents. We provide rooms that allow babies and toddlers to explore and discover God's world in a safe and loving environment, and training ministers to these babies in the use of an extremely simple curriculum for infants.
What is the Nursery Ministry Serving Policy?
The Nursery Ministry operates very similarly to a co-op, wherein the Nursery is primarily facilitated by the parents of children being served through this ministry. There are two (2) teams on Sunday mornings - Fall/Winter team serving September thru February; and our Spring/Summer Team serving March thru August. A wide variety of serving areas are available to accommodate parents attending 1 or both services. There is one (1) Wednesday evening program operating October thru May: this program operates with two (2) classes with children age ranges from infant to age 3. *Visitors are not asked to serve.
Why do we have this Nursery Ministry Policy?
The primary reason for this policy is to have enough people serve in the Nursery Ministry to keep it operating. Our secondary goal is to enrich the Nursery Ministry in the following ways:
(1) no more restricting children from the Nursery as a result of parents not being able to fulfill their pre-assigned sub dates
(2) relieve people of the burden of "once in the Nursery, never leave the Nursery"
(3) offer Nursery helpers opportunities to be spiritually nourished by attending Bible classes and studies during their time away from serving in Nursery
(4) provide a refreshing break for regular helpers, in hopes of their returning recharged and ready to pour out in their serving of our youngest members of Antioch.
Why are the Nursery Ministry teams serving for 6 months?
There are not enough parents or nursery volunteers to support a shorter serving time. We have just enough parents and volunteers to support two 6 month serving teams. Many parents serve in other ministries that do not avail them to the Nursery Ministry. It takes up to one month for many children to become comfortable in their classes. The children are best served by having familiar faces each week over an extended period of time.
Do I have to serve 6 months in order to place my child in the Nursery Ministry?
(6 Months ON & 6 Months OFF)
We ask that one (1) parent (that does not currently serve in Sunday School, Kid's Church, AWANA, JROC, Apex and Sure Foundation Choir) to extend 6 months of service to the Nursery Ministry. This ministry could not operate without parent helpers. A variety of serving areas are available to accommodate parents who attend 1 or both services. *Visitors are not asked to serve.
Why does the Nursery Ministry need so many people to serve?
Our primary reason is to ensure the safe evacuation of children, parent helpers and volunteers in the event of an emergency. The children we serve range in age from infant to age 3. There are some children who do not walk and others do not walk well on their own. Many in-class helpers can carry 2 babies at one time; thus our child to adult ratio is 2:1 in the Infant and Toddler classes. The child to adult ratio increases to 3:1 in the other classes.
Can mothers and fathers share their serving time by alternating each week?
Yes, one parent can serve one week and the other parent can serve the following week. Many parents that attend both Sunday services have served this way. Parents may attend one Sunday service together and alternate during the other service between serving in the Nursery Ministry and attending a class.
Do I have to serve in the classroom?
No, there are a wide variety of serving areas to accommodate parents serving in and out of the classroom. The serving areas range from helping to set up the rooms before 1st service, walk children down the stairs to the lower level classes, check in children, to wash toys & laundry. A detailed list is available at the Nursery registration table on Sundays.
Do I have to miss the church service in order to serve in the Nursery Ministry?
No, we want all parents and volunteers to attend the church service. There are a wide variety of serving areas to give parents both the opportunity to serve and attend one of the Sunday services.
Our Nursery Ministry is vital to Antioch Bible Church. We want it to be a support and a blessing to the parents that visit, regularly attend and call Antioch their home. If you have any questions concerning your serving in the Nursery Ministry, please do not hesitate to contact Caitie Hurley, ABC Nursery Director, (425) 284-2633.