What Is the Best Check In/out System You've Seen for a Church Nursery?

Updated on August 02, 2010
N.W. asks from Carlinville, IL
12 answers

Does your church use a check in/out system. Our church currently is using a combination check in system; the parents sign each child in and out on a piece of paper, each child is given a sticker with their name, the parents name and their number on it, and each parent has a lanyard with their names and number on it. There are some problems with this system: 1. No one signs their child out. 2. No one takes their number, they just leave it on the hook. 3. If we need a parent, we can put their number on the projector screen in the sanctuary. but this requires our coordinator to be in there (the worker texts her the parents number, she puts it on the screen). If the screen is being used for service, or if the parent is in S.S. then this system doesn't work, and someone has to go find the parent. --So I'm trying to look into new systems that aren't incredibly expensive, but will be functional. Does your church use a system that you like and that works? To what age does your church require someone pick up a child, Do school age kids have to be picked up by a parent from S.S.? Or are they dismissed to do as they please?
Thanks for any advice you may have.

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answers from St. Louis on

I'm with you. I'd like to see other responses. We have tried the same system, but it's pretty much gone by the wayside because no one signs out.

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answers from Dallas on

Kids under 3-4 are picked up by parents. We don't have babies under the age of 18 months, they have to stay with the parent.

We always have an assistant teacher to get the parent if a child needs it. For those younger children in the nursery (3 and under) the parents sign a sheet and write down what class they will be in so that it's easy to find them.

Older kids have their own classes, so parents don't sign them in, an attendance role is taken instead. When class is over, they leave since their class is over at the same time as the adults so they meet in the hallways. Younger kids though typically stay in the classroom for the parents or usually older siblings to pick them up.

Since we know whose child every one belongs too since sunday school is broken down into classes, then we don't need ids or name tags.



answers from St. Louis on

I'm with you. I'd like to see other responses. We have tried the same system, but it's pretty much gone by the wayside because no one signs out.



answers from Springfield on

Our growing church recently went to a pager system. Outside each nursery/preschool class there is a table with a sign in sheet, stickers, allergy alert stickers, and pagers. The parent signs the child's name and their name on the sign in sheet, and takes a pager. Then they fill out the stickers, which have 2 parts and the same number preprinted on each part. One side has the child's name and room name, parent's location, special instructions, and pager number. This goes on the child. The smaller side has the child's name and pager number on it and goes with the parent. (Allergy alert stickers are optional as needed.) The teachers can then page the parent if needed, and the pager will vibrate.

When parents pick up their children they trade the pager and their sticker for the child. The nursery worker matches the ticket numbers and takes the sticker off the child before turning them over to the person who has both pager and parent sticker. (If we see a child with a sticker wandering around we are to take them back to their classroom.) This way, if the parent who signed the child in isn't able to pick their child up, they just have to give the pager and parent sticker to the person who will pick the child up. After kids are old enough to move to the classes in the Children's Building they are responsible for themselves.

I am on our church's preschool committee and we researched several options before choosing this. It was more cost effective than the laptops, and had worked well for the churches we contacted. We went with Parent Seeker, with the pagers that vibrate but don't show message text. http://www.seekercommunication.com/church.html



answers from Jacksonville on

In our nursery in the church in VA we had a pass counter that separated the children from the adults.
No one was able to leave their children without signing them in and no one took their children without signing out. I worked in the nursery at times and we were very particular when it came ot our babies and toddlers.
When signing in they wrote down where they would be. Every child had a nametag. If the parents balked we just simply stated that it was for the good of the children and to take it up with pastor.
When parents were in the sanctuary we would send someone up to get them, we had ushers who knew where most people sat, even the newomers.
The elementary school students were to stay in their classrooms until parents came to get them. At 6th grade they moved into the youth hall and they didn't want to leave until the parents came.
Children in the halls always had a buddy or an adult with them. .

This may seem very over the top but we have a church with over 700 members in it outside of DC. People have broken into it and some of the indigent from the area have come for dinner on Wednesday night. Safety is a big concern.



answers from Daytona Beach on

Our nursery and older children are a little different. In the nursery we use a wrist band with a security tear off tab. The parent signs the childs name and their name and location during service on the sign in sheet along with any special instructions, allergies, lovies etc. and the security tab #.
We have 2 screens in the main sanctuary that display the # if the child needs his parents, 2 of our rooms have call boxes where the codes can be typed from and the boxes are easy to use. I was in charge of a church nursery at another church previously we used the pagers, but parents would loose them (they were very expensive for a large church, today we would have to have hundreds), and the batteries would run out without
much warning and then beep until you changed them. the way we do it now is good because even if the parent looses the security tab, you can check their ID because we have them write their name on the sign in sheet.
At our church anyone under 6th grade has to be checked in and out. We tried 4th and up checking them selves in and out with parent permission, it was too much confusion. We have bag tags and allergy stickers and labels available for cups etc. But once parents get in a routine, the tag is on the bag etc. check in is easy. The parents write the childs name on the security band and it doubles as a name tag. we also have first time visitor stickers given at the info desk so everyone knows they are visitors.
Hope this helps and God bless your ministry.


answers from Phoenix on

5th grade up is released on their own unless you tell them you will come get them. we have some kind of scanner that looks like the grocery store card. It prints out your kids name tags and you keep the other one and hand it in when you pick up the kids. not sure what kind of system they use for their electronics but if a parent needs to be notified, it comes up on the tv screens with the kids name and number. I don't know enough of the details to help but maybe you can contact the church or check out the website: http://www.sunvalleycc.com Good luck!



answers from Wichita on

Our church has a computer scan system to check in your kids. WHen you get there you pick up your childrens cards and there name tags. The coordinator scan that they are present and you take the kids to there rooms. And put there name tags on. You are supposed to write down where you will be on their room list. Its seems to work ok in the infant and toddler rooms. And then when you pick up your kids, they scan your cards (and kids) out.
Overall I don't think this system is very good. Too many step, alot of parents just dont do it, not vistor friendly.

At my SIL church, you just type in your kids names on the computer. Two stickers print out. One as a name badge for your kid with all their info. And one stiker for the parent to keep as a claim ticket. They have a closed nursery (only one entrance and exit) and a closed elementary wing. They have staff who helps check everyone in and out. I really like this system. Here most parents enter their cellphone number into the database when they intially sign their kids in and they will text the parents on their on phone.

At our chirch parents are supposed to pickup kids thru 6 grade. After SS and service all of the elementary kids goto the gym or the game room. Some how a few always end up wandering but so far it works.



answers from San Antonio on

Our church uses a computer system. You log the child in when you come in and receive 2 stickers for each child and 2 for the adult. The stickers have the child's name and room number on them and a randomly generated set of numbers/letters (four digits). One sticker goes on the child's back and one on the child's bag). You sign the child in and then to get them back you have to give them your matching sticker with the correct set of digits. They are really good about collecting the parent/adult stickers...you have to have it on you.

If you feel like your child might need you they issue a pager or you can leave your cell phone number and put your phone on vibrate in your pocket.

Hope this helps.


answers from Kansas City on

our church uses a three-sticker system. one for the kiddo, one for us, and one for the book. we not only put our name and our child's name, we put our cell number in case we are needed. (i leave my phone on vibrate) and yes, we ALL have to do it :) my son is in the 3 year old class, so i don't know about older kids...

when pickup time comes, i have to give my sticker to the coordinator, then she goes and finds my child. unless he's already seen me of course, but they always ask for the sticker to match it up with him.


answers from Kansas City on

We've used the pager system for a few years now. The pagers are in the room with the teachers. When the parents drop off the child they are to sign them in with where the parent will be (Sunday School Class or Worship) and the parent puts a name tag on the child, we also have allergy alert name tags. The teacher hands the child's parents a pager that coordinates with the number on the sign in paper. Each pager is numbered and the sign in sheet is numbered with the pagers. If the parent is needed the teacher or director can input the number into the pager system and the parent's pager starts to vibrate. We do this for infants, toddlers, 2's and 3's. For the older kids we have a computerized check in system that prints out a name tag for the parents and child. They then sign in their child at the door, just like the younger kids. The name tag has a random number on it, when the parent come to pick up their child the tag must match the childs tag. They are supposed to sign the child out and sign their name when they leave. For the Kindergarten thru 5th grade we have the same tag system but we don't have the parents sign them in or out at the door. To pick them up they must have the matching sticker.
Hope this helps. God Bless.


answers from Kansas City on

Our church uses a computer system. When you register your child you set up a pin number. Now when we go in they have a couple of laptops set up (for nursery thru 5th grade). You type in your pin number and stickers print out. Two stickers for each child and one for each parent. It has the name and our pin number on it. We stick one on the kids and they have a board in their room for the other one. My husband and I have to have our stickers on us to pick up the kids and take their stickers off the board. Its super easy. If they need us they put our pin number up on a board in the sanctuary. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

We use a combination of name tags & pager system. The 3 & under group gets a name tag on their bag and their shirt (on the back). The parent signs them in and gets a pager. Each pager # is put on the sheet next to the parents name. It's just a vibrating pager. If the parent is needed for any reason the desk worker (we have one that works through the service - actually there are several that work on a rotating basis) pages the parent to come to the nursery area. When time for pick up, the parent turns in the pager to the desk. We only allow 1 parent / much older sibling to the hallway behind the desk to drop off and pick up. Too much congestion otherwise. (Now - if it's a visiting family or new family - of course both parents come back to see the rooms, etc.) The name tags are basically for the workers to know the kids names as we have volunteers during church service that rotate. Now - at kindegarten on up, the kids can be released on their - with parents permission - to go to worship. PM me if you want any more info.

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