29064112_1637574872978767_7033429573398863439_o.jpg

Investing in the next generation might be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Our desire is to see young hearts know the truth of Jesus and start real relationships with Him. Everything we do points to that desire. With that, we want to assemble the best team possible to partner with us as we take on the task of investing in our kiddos. 

Below you'll find some really important information that you'll need to serve well in Vertical Kids. We're sharing expectations of volunteers, what you can expect from the Family Ministry Team, what being in the classroom looks like, and our safety procedures. Before we move on, we wanted to share with you what our ideal kids volunteer looks like: 

The Ideal Vertical Crew Member is someone who is willing to: 

Go the extra mile 

We need volunteers that we can count on. Going the extra mile looks like arriving on time, consistently serving, building relationships with the kids, and being prepared each time you serve. 


Bring joy and energy to our weekly environments

We think every weekend is the opportunity to a party! We want our kids to walk into our environment every Sunday and have a great time learning about Jesus. It's key that our Crew members are excited to be here and spread joy. Bringing excited energy looks like welcoming kids and parents with big smiles and open body language, talking to the kids one on one and asking questions to get to know them, being bought into the whole Vertical Kids environment. 


Partner with us in our commitment to share the life-changing love of Christ to kids on their level

We believe that every child is valuable and have a deep hope that they will start relationships with Jesus and grow in their faith. Everything we do points to that desire! Children today need healthy relationships with adults. They need the truth of Jesus modeled by people who care about them. Partnering with us looks like owning your role as a Vertical Kids Volunteer. 

Are you ready to dive in and own your role as a Vertical Kids Crew Member! We thought so!! Let's Go! 

Expectations

Here is what we expect of our Vertical Kids Crew Members. They come down to 3 broad expecatations: Come Prepared, Communicate Well, and Consistently be present. They just all happened to start with C's!

Come Prepared

Arrive at least 25 minutes before the start of the service time. This allows you time to get settled into the room and ready to welcome kids and families into the environment. We NEVER want to have parents walk their children into empty rooms. 

Use your Lead Small App to become familiar with the day's lesson and activities before Sunday morning. We will be more than happy to walk you through how to use it. Just ask if you need a refresher!

Know the 3 Basic Truths for your area. Preschool and Elementary have different basic biblical truths that all of our materials point to. Become familiar with them, so you can help reinforce them when you're with the kiddos. 


    Communicate Well.

    Use Slack, for group communication and one-on-one communication with the Family Ministry Team. We will be more than happy to help you download slack and show you how to use it. It's easy!

    Give constructed feedback about your area. We are always looking to improve the overall Sunday morning experience for kids and families as well as volunteers. 

    Confirm or Decline on Planning Center so we can have the BEST experience in Vertical Kids. If you need to miss a Sunday because you're contagiously sick or out of town, that's okay! Help us replace your spot by talking with your friends. 


      Consistently be Present.

      When you're with the kids, BE with the kids. Put your phone away and don't be distracted while you're working the room. You've got them for 50 minutes. Use that time wisely. Sit with them and watch the video. Do the songs and dances. Get down on their level. All of that makes a huge difference!

      Additionally, pay attention to what the kids say and do. Children communicate with us through their actions. Be a detective and figure out the best way to help them. 

      Consistency is key for building trust with children. We want you to own your role as an investor in the lives of the next generation. We will do everything we can to help you! Investing in kids is a big job and we cannot do it alone. We need consistent volunteers who have a desire to see kids start relationships with Jesus. 

      Attend Vertical Kids outings and get to know the children's parents. 

        On the flip side, here is what you can expect from the Family Ministry Team.
        This is a partnership and expectations go both ways.

        Excellent Communication

        We never want volunteers to feel like they don't know what's going on or that they are just showing up to babysit kids while their parents go to church. We are committed to always pointing back to our big "whys" behind why we do what we do. 

        We will be clear with our goals and objectives for Vertical Kids. 

        We will give opportunities for you to give feedback and we WILL act on it. 

        We will aim to not be last minute with our requests and will communicate events, trainings, and changes in a timely way. 

        We will always be honest with you even if that involves difficult conversations. 


        Real Friendship

        Like mentioned above, we are partners in ministry! We want to develop real friendships with all of our Crew Members. You can trust that we are always here for you to listen, encourage, pray, and be there for you and your family in any way possible. 

        With involvement comes respect. You can expect us to respect you as a person and not see you as someone who fills a "position." 

        We will always show gratitude because the work we do is difficult, but that good kind of difficult that's rewarding and meaningful. You can trust that we are always grateful for your partnership. 

         

        In the Classroom

        Small groups connect children relationally with a consistent leader who nurtures their spiritual development. Small groups also allow us to stay involved and communicate consistently with parents. We utilize small group time all 3 areas: Preschool, Elementary, and Pre Teen.

         
         

        Small Groups in Vertical Kids:

        In the Preschool room the small group leaders participate in discussion and prayer with their small group of children as specifically outlined in the “Make It Real” section of each week’s lesson.

        In Babies, Toddlers and Twos small group looks a little different. We think it’s important for every child to get to know their leader who is praying for them, caring for them and communicating with parents.

         

        Small Group Leader Responsibilities

        A small group leader is responsible for creating a safe and inviting environment for children by being consistent and on time. A prepared room and familiar face help create a desirable place for children. He/She is also responsible to connect relationally with a group of kids and their families. He/She invests by sending birthday cards, occasional postcards etc.. ( these supplies are available for you.)

         

        Small Group Leader Tasks to Remember:

        Read your curriculum ahead of time. You can find this on the LEAD SMALL APP. 

        Wear your Vertical Kids lanyard and t-shirt (t-shirts coming soon!). *The lanyards are important because it let's parents know that you are cleared to work with their children. 

        Eat breakfast/snacks before the kids arrive. We have snacks and drinks in Volunteer Central for you to grab before or after you serve, please do not consume soft drinks or snacks in front of the kids, because they'll want some too.

        Attend the team meeting in your classroom 20 minutes prior to the service. This is where your team leader will meet with you to prepare for the day

        Do the Early-Arriver Activity and Opening Activity before you travel to large group (Elementary) to introduce the kids to what they’ll be learning today.

        During Large Group (Elementary) stay with your group. Keep them engaged by modeling good listening skills and participating in worship.

        During Small Group, go over the 4 application activities (Bible Story Review, Bottom Line Review, Memory Verse Review & Prayer) because this is where the magic happens.

        At pick-up time, be sure to connect with parents and follow the check out procedures (effective July 1, 2018). Additionally, over time try getting parents and friends involved in serving alongside you!

        After the children leave, help clean up the area for the next service or for the day. 

        Follow all Safety Procedures. 

         

        General Safety Procedures

        We have 20+  volunteers and over 100 kids that check into our areas every Sunday. It is impossible for us to keep up with all of the families and all of their unique circumstances. The Vertical Kids Host Team members are posted at the entrance to the Vertical Kids areas every Sunday morning. They monitor people as the enter each area, but we rely on your diligence as a volunteer to protect our children.

        General Safety Guidelines

        1. Remain with your small group at all times. Children cannot walk around the church unattended. 
        2. Do not go inside any room, including the bathroom, alone with a child.
        3. First aid supplies are located in the cabinet in your room (additional supplies are in the Supply Closet in the Preschool area.
        4. If a child is injured, immediately communicate with a Vertical Staff Team Member and cooperate for an incident report.
        5. In case of emergency, remain with your children and look to your team leader for instructions.
        6. Should there ever be any suspicion of abuse, let your coach or staff person know immediately.
        7. Secure a sub to cover your group if you are going to be out.
        8. You will need a permission form signed by parents if you do any outside activities with your small group. Forms are available from your Kids Ministry Director.
        9. You are welcome to send postcards to communicate with the kids in your group. All phone, text, and email communication should happen with parents only.
        10. Do not post photos of the kids in your group on social media without parental consent.

        Security Tags

        1. As a parent checks in their child, their will receive a security tag that will match the number on the child’s printed name tag.

        2. If a parent is needed during the hour, the child’s security tag number will be posted on the side screens in the main auditorium. Please see or message a staff member through slack if you are needing to page a parent.

        3. When picking up their child the parent MUST check them out in order to receive their child. We are implementing a Check Out process on July 1, 2018. We will NOT release a child to a sibling or any other person who does NOT have their tag. You will receive a separate instruction page detailing Check Out Procedures. 

        Should the parent lose their security tag you will need to find a staff member to verify information before releasing the child.


        Keeping it Clean

        We want to keep our areas neat and tidy. After each service throw away used curriculum and straighten up the area before leaving. 


        Restroom Policy

        For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow these procedures when taking older kids to the restroom.

        • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom alone with a child.

        • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into the bathroom.

        • Please stand with your foot in the door to monitor the needs of the child.

        • If you have an emergency situation where a child is sick or needs your assistance, please prop open the door and ask another volunteer or a staff member to assist you.


        Specific Information for Preschool Volunteers 

        Classroom Ratios

        Each classroom has a specific child to volunteer ratio for safety purposes. If one of your classroom hits its ratio please notify a staff member so he or she can help find you a helper. Ratios are posted inside the door of each classroom.

        Child to Volunteer Ratios are as follows:

        Babies - 5:1

        Toddlers - 6:1

        Twos - 8:1

        PreSchool - 10:1

        Elementary

        4th & 5th


        From Pampers to Potty

        *specifically for Preschool Volunteers

        Please make sure that every child goes home with a clean, dry diaper on. This communicates to the parents that our care for the welfare of their child is important to us. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of germs. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority.

        Diaper Changing

        • Have supplies assembled and ready before your start. This will include, diapers, wipes, paper towels, gloves, wax paper and cleaning spray.

        • Sanitize your hands and put on a pair of gloves.

        • Use wipes. If there are none in the child’s bag then use the wipes provided by the church. After changing return the child to the play area.

        • Spray the area with the provided cleaning solution, let the cleaning solution sit for a minute and then wipe thoroughly.

        • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of it in the garbage can. 

        • There is one designated area for changing diapers in the Nursery and the Toddler room, do not change diapers anywhere else.

        • Make sure to thoroughly sanitize your hands after every diaper change.

        • EVERY child should be changed EVERY service and never go home with a dirty diaper.


        Keeping it Clean

        One of the best ways to prevent the passing of germs is hand washing. Remind the children continuously to wash their hands and take it a step further by assigning a student volunteer to help children wash their hands. There is access to 2 sinks in our Nursery area as well as hand sanitizer dispensers in each room (Preschool rooms and the Elementary Rooms). 

        Hands Should be washed:

        1. Before and After eating (preschool children)

        2. Before handling snack (preschool helpers)

        3. Before and After changing diapers (preschool volunteers)

        4. After helping a child in the bathroom (preschool volunteers)

        5. After wiping and blowing noses (preschool volunteers)

        Toy Cleaning Policy

        Toys should be washed after every service.

        • Throughout the morning place dirty toys in the bin that will be provided in the room.

        • Spray the toys in the bin with the disinfecting spray or bleach spray and let sit for at least 3 minutes while you clean the rest of the classroom.

        • Rinse small toys with hot water

        • Let toys air dry on paper towel on the shelf or table.

        • Large toys that cannot be submerged in a liquid should be sprayed with the cleaning solution provided.

        • Leave all toys in the classroom in their original spot

        Classroom Checklists

        During the hour:

        • If any serious spills or accidents occur, place a paper towel over the location and alert a staff member either as soon as you see one or via slack.

        • If something breaks, place a piece of masking tape over any broken fixtures or furniture and alert your staff member. Please write on the masking tape what it wrong with the item.

        • If a child gets injured alert a staff member to fill out an incident report ( you will need to sign this as well)

        After the hour:

        • Match up the security tags with the child’s name tag. Check Out Procedures are effective on July 1, 2018.

        • Spray ALL play surfaces and toys, let sit for 3 minutes and then wipe down. Rags and spray bottles are in the room

        • Clear all tables of any scrap paper and put down new butcher paper.

        • If a crib is used please put new clean sheets on the bed. Place the dirty ones in the hamper to be washed.

        • Place trash in the big garbage can and replace liner after every service.

        • Clean the floors and play mats with the Swiffer wet jet between services. The Swiffer Wet Jet is located in the PreSchool Supply Closet. 

        • Turn off lights after the room is cleaned at the last service. 

         

         

        Vertical Kids Host Team

        The Vertical Kids Host Team is incredibly important as they are the gate keepers of Vertical Kids. This Team excitedly welcomes kids and families into the Vertical Kids area, makes kids and families feel comfortable, and provides information as to what the day will look like! We se new families each Sunday and it's our privilege to welcome them to our area. 

        As a member of the Host Team you'll either be a Runner or a Inputer. Runners walk new families and children to their classrooms and introduce them to the Group Leaders. Inputers input the data to check children in. Our 3 big priorities for the Host Team Are: 

        Show Incredible Hospitality

        Because the Host Team is the first line of Vertical Kids, we want to set the right impression. The fun doesn't start as soon as the children walk into their classrooms. The party starts as soon as they enter the building! Your most important priority is to make families feel welcome and at ease as soon as they walk through the door, particularly brand new families. You are always on the lookout for new faces! 

        Smile, have open body language, and get the party started!

        Make connections with families by learning the names and faces of parents and kids. 

        Always acknowledge people, even if it's just a wave from afar. 

        Inputers -- Recognize kids who have Birthdays! We want our kids to feel extra special on their birthday weeks. Planning Center People will tell you when it's a child's birthday week. When that pops up, give them a "It's my birthday week!" sticker and make a big deal about it!


        Enter Information Correctly and Smile the whole Time.

        When you are Inputing, everything counts.

        We want to ensure that all children's names are spelled correctly, birthdates entered correctly, parent's contact info (email and phone) are entered correctly, and any known allergies or special needs are entered correctly. See a pattern here? LOL. 

        Take your time when entering information into Planning Center Check-in. Double check as you go. If the line get's backed up, don't worry. Other members of the Host Team will help you check children in. If you get flustered or the printers aren't working, stay calm. Signal for help and we'll come help you straighten it out. 

        After you've checked new families in, introduce them to a Runner and let them take it from there. After you've checked in a new family, make a note on a connection card with the parent's first and last name and put it aside to turn into the Kids Director. We will follow up with the family during the week. It is vital that we know who the new families are. 

        Monitor Hallway During the Service

        Host Team Volunteers serve for 1 service and then attend a service. We need the Host Team available throughout the morning serving as hallway monitors and helping late arrivers check-in.

        Host Team Members may also be called on to step into classrooms if the Classroom Leader needs to slip out to go to the restroom or if there is an emergency. 


        Be Knowledgeable about the Church and Vertical Kids

        As you are interacting with the families, you can share details about Vertical Kids and our church. Parents want to know what our church is like and what we offer for our children. Stay up to date on the latest information by reading emails and other communications with the Family Ministry Team. 

        One of the best ways to really connect with someone and share about our church is by sharing details of your own story. Tell them what you love about Vertical Church and Vertical Kids. Bringing in that personal element is key when connecting with others and showing hospitality. 


        How to Check In New Families 

        1. Click "Add Person"

        2. Select Create a New Person and Add to a New Household

        • You can select "Add to an Existing Household" if a parent has a new child
        • We don't want to use the "create a temporary one-time guest" option because we cannot follow up. You may use it in extreme cases like a family member of a regular attender coming into town for the weekend. Input the Child's details: 

        3. Input the Child's details: 

        • First and Last Name (Spelled Correctly and first letters capitalized)
        • Change from "adult" to "child"
        • Select gender
        • Enter in Birthdate - month, day, and year they were born
        • Enter correct grade they are currently in or if it's summer, the grade they just completed. We promote in August. 
        • Enter in any medical notes, if any (allergies, special needs, etc)
        • Enter Parent's email address
        • Enter Parent's phone number. Explain that if there is an emergency, we will contact the parent through text message during the service. 
        • Enter child's resident address. If they get weird about giving that information, it's okay. You can say that "we like to send post cards and birthday cards to all of our kids!" 

        *If there are multiple children to be checked in for the first time, you'll click "add person" and then "add to existing household" that way you won't have to enter in the email, phone number, and address all over again, but you WILL enter first and last name, select child, gender, birthdate, and grade. 

        4. Write down the Parent(s) first and last name on a Connection Card and put it in the bin to submit to the Vertical Kids Director. 

        5. Signal for a Runner to escort the family to the child's room. 


        Check Out Procedures

        Effective July 1, 2018, we are implementing Check Out. We do a great job getting children safely checked in, but now we are ready to close the circle and check children out. It helps us keep a safe and reliable culture. As Host Team, you will be responsible for checking children out of the areas. 

        Once the service is over, Host Team will be in place in front of the rooms to check children out. You will have the iPads in hand and will receive the barcode stickers. 

        • Children can only be checked out by the person who checked them in, with the security tag in hand. 
        • Children may not be checked out by an older sibling or teenager. 
        • Children may not run out of the doors as soon as the doors open. 

        How to Check Out: 

        1. The iPads will be set to "Check Out" in a "Roster" setting. That means that depending on the room you are checking out, the right list of children who checked in will appear. 
        2. Search Barcode numbers within the search bar and select the child's name. 
        3. Keep the Barcode sticker and throw them away. 

        It's that simple! 

        Make sure to keep up the hospitality by engaging with the children and parents as they leave.