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Church creche - what should it look like?


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Just back from church and the beloved crèche leader has quietly told me that she is to give it up at the end of current rota. I'd previously expressed an interest in running it and she has asked me without first asking the vicar!! I think they've had a falling out. This woman has been my rock since my babies were tiny and I don't want to undermine her in any way, but I think crèche might look different.

 

Currently there are usually only three to five toddlers and babies but sometimes as many as 13. Parents often stay with their children but some do go back in to church. There are always two CRB'd 'helpers' with others who can be called upon to help. Many of the helpers are quite elderly these days. There are masses of toys but no organised activities. The room is carpeted and well lit.

 

The church is closely associated with the local church school so many parents are not naturally church-goers but he children need to be seen to have 'frequent and regular' church attendance.

 

Before I talk to the vicar about what this hour might look like could I ask your opinions please? Should this be a 'led' session with activities and songs etc, or do you think new parents are more comfortable in a safe but unchallenging place? What would you be tempted to do?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Honey

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Hi HoneyPancakes

 

I think that this session could be however you and the vicar decide it should be - perhaps a mix of what they are used to now with a few songs, a story and circle games thrown in :1b

 

How great that you are taking this role on - so many 'things' are just closing down in my village because new volunteers just can't be found - makes me sad :(

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I haven't actually said I'll take it on yet. I don't just want to be a key holder and rota maker. I'd like to do something more stimulating - for me and for the children. And I don't want to be in a position where I might also fall out with the vicar. Wherever you go it's all politics.

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From my experience the creche could be what you and the Vicar / PCC want it to be. Perhaps it would be worth talking to the Vicar on a 'I'm vaguely thinking about it' basis, and then perhaps also asking parents what they would want.

In case it helps to know (and maybe you do already): Every PCC has to have a Safeguarding Officer who is responsible for ensuring helpers have up to date DBS, but should also be involved in interviews for any employed staff but also for volunteers - i.e. a creche leader! The website for your Diocese should give details of this. Most church PCCs now also have a Health and Safety officer, so if yours does, you may need to link with that person. If there is not the Warden usually takes this role.

Good luck with it, I'm sure your experience will be appreciated

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well whatever you do don't tell your parents to wash their children's mouth out with soap if they are naughty....which is what our Baptist church leader told them!

 

 

 

(don't panic.....it was years ago and I sorted it! ;) )

 

 

From groups ive been to previously a good mix of stuff is good .....maybe some free play ...one activity (craft?) and then a bit of a sing song???

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Thanks folks. My thoughts were, a story on entry, a carpet friendly sensory activity (ribbons, ball pool, scarves, beach balls, bubbles, pine cones, ), a baby area, a few wheeled toys and some writing something, and a great big sing song.

 

Current leader has sworn me to secrecy until Christmas, but I want to be ready.

 

Thanks heaps, H

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Sounds good - can I come and play! My only slight question is about what the children will have been doing before the creche starts? Do they, as in many churches, stay in the service for while and only go out to creche during the sermon? If that is the case, they may need to play for a while at the beginning and then have the story a bit later.

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The other possible issue with story first is that not everyone arrives promptly so you could end up with children sitting and waiting or people coming in whilst you are trying to engage children reading. Good luck!

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