The Childcare Checklist

Use this practical tool to determine the childcare options in your small group.

Every church's small-group ministry is different. So is every small group. That's why we all need to think through the choices that will work best in our individual situations. If you plan ahead, the right childcare option can open up great opportunities for your small group instead of becoming a burden.Â

1. What is the childcare policy for your group?

[ ] No children are present except for nursing infants

[ ] Intergenerational—we include all children

[ ] Group members take turns caring for children

[ ] We hire a babysitter for the whole group

[ ] Other options _____________________________

2. Where should childcare be provided?

[ ] In the same house as the Bible study, but in a separate room

[ ] At the babysitter's house

[ ] At the church building

[ ] Wherever individual parents can arrange it

3. Who pays for childcare each meeting?

[ ] All of the members who have children

[ ] The whole group passes around a hat

[ ] No one—it's free

[ ] The church treasury

[ ] The group leader

4. What training will be supplied for childcare providers?

[ ] Basic safety instructions

[ ] How discipline a child (or group of children) effectively

[ ] How to engage children in active learning and interactive play

[ ] A basic understanding of age levels

[ ] How to change a diaper

[ ] All of the above

[ ] None of the above—all they have to do is play a Veggie Tales

5. What resources will be provided for childcare providers?

[ ] Christian videos such as Veggie Tales

[ ] Reading books for different age groups

[ ] Games, puzzles, and toys for different age groups

[ ] Coloring and activity books

[ ] Other options _____________________________

6. What groups or individuals are available for childcare?

[ ] Teenagers from the youth group

[ ] "Grandparents"—older members of the church who are willing to help

[ ] A rotation of members from our own group

[ ] A rotation of members from other groups that meet on a different night of the week, and then we return the favor

7. Who is responsible for finding, training, and resourcing childcare workers?

[ ] The small-group leader

[ ] A designated person in each group (possibly the apprentice)

[ ] The church's small-groups director or coach

[ ] The children's director

[ ] The youth minister

[ ] Other options _____________________________

8. What are the children taught?

[ ] It depends—children play and childcare workers interact with them, looking for teachable moments

[ ] Applications based on recent Sunday school lessons

[ ] Lessons that correspond with their parents' Bible study

[ ] A program developed specifically for this situation

[ ] Nothing in particular

Interested in learning more about incorporating children into small groups? Check out these great training resources from

  • Family-Friendly Small Groups: If you're a parent or spouse involved in a small group, chances are good that a bit of tension has developed between your responsibilities in those circles. But small groups and families don't have to be at war. They can even help and support each other!
  • Great Small Groups for Students: Small groups can be used in a youth ministry in at least two ways: as a primary system of care, support, and discipleship for the youth of the church, and as a method of outreach for teens who do not know Christ. Careful planning can help your church accomplish all these goals.

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