As a child of the 80s, when someone mentions the idea of safety, there is one image that consistently pops into my mind...
First introduced in 1971, Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center in order to promote poison prevention. His presence was most popular in Western Pennsylvania, but Mr. Yuk could be found in homes across the country. By the time I was born in 1981, his image was plastered on every chemical in my house. As a toddler, I was trained by my parents and this frightening commercial to stay away from any object that had this sticker. Seeing that I'm still alive more than thirty years later, the warnings were effective, at least in my household.
While the images of Mr. Yuk have largely disappeared from our culture, the idea of child safety certainly has not. In fact, safety is consistently the number one priority for parents when choosing automobiles, childcare facilities, educational opportunities and even extra-curricular activities. For parents, the priority of their child's safety ensures peace of mind.
At Northridge Kids your child's safety is our main concern. Here's why:
Safety sets you, the parent at ease. We don't think you as parents can participate in the worship experience if you're on high alert on your kid's behalf. When your kids are physically and emotionally safe, you can be experientially present in our worship experience.
Safety sets your kids at ease. We don't think your kids will have fun or learn unless we have first created environments characterized by safety. Trusted adults point kids toward a trustworthy God. When kids are physically and emotionally safe, they will be spiritually open.
While there are numerous ways Northridge Kids seeks to maintain physical and emotional safety, here are some of the most prominent:
check-inLocated in the lobby, our computer check-in stations allow you to retrieve your family's information and select with environments they will participate in for the day. A name tag will print for each child as well as pick up tag for the parent. There will be code on your child's name tag that is identical to the one on your parent tag. Each week this code is randomly assigned. At the conclusion of the service, parents present their tags at their child's environment. Our volunteers match the parent tag with each child before releasing the child to an adult.
CLEAN - While "cleanliness is next to godliness" isn't in the Bible, we do think it best helps prepare kids to learn the Bible. Having a clean kid's environment is more inviting and healthy for kids and more inspirational for our volunteers. We've found that clean environments certainly lead to better faith conversations between kids and volunteers.
AGE-APPROPRIATE - Our environments are designed physically (size and design) and developmentally (teaching and activities) specific for the ages who utilize the space.
WELL-STAFFED - Our goal is not to manage a crowd, but to inspire faith. Therefore, we maintain recommended adult to child ratios (Infants 1:2. Toddlers 1:3. Pre K 1:4. Elementary 1:8) to ensure our leaders' ability to connect and care for each child as uniquely and specifically as possible.
BACKGROUND CHECKED - Every volunteer who serves in our ministry has passed a state and national background check (covering criminal and sexual misconduct) and they have also passed reference checks (covering skill and stability).
TRAINED & IDENTIFIABLE - Before serving, our volunteers test drive our environments where they learn their roles and responsibilities. Our leadership team encourages continual skill development through trainings and resources. You'll recognize these individuals when you look into our environments and see not only their smiles and skills but also their shirts. As a team member, volunteers wear our Northridge Kids t-shirt and a name tag every Sunday.
SECURITY TEAM - Each campus has security personnel who help ensure that anyone without a tag (see check-in segment above) is not permitted to enter our kid's environments.
We place great value on children because they are important to parents and also to Jesus (Mark 9:42). We think the best way for us to inspire faith is by creating environments where kids feel physically and emotionally safe.
If you have any questions about how we operate our environments to ensure physical and emotional safety, we'd love to hear from you. Please connect with us HERE.