Church Nursery Volunteer Worker Guidelines (job description)

Here is a list of volunteer expectations that I have been using for our church nursery. We don’t have a formal church nursery worker manual, but these guidelines have several ideas for safety that move in the right direction. I do not use the term ‘job description’ in the document. We want our people to think of their work in the church nursery as a ministry or service to the Lord. Feel free to use these in your church or leave a comment to help me revise them in the future. You can download this as a word document: Church Nursery Worker Guidelines

When I first introduced these, I called a meeting for all church nursery workers. It was a process of re-teaching what many of our best volunteers already knew. Do these guidelines solve all our issues? No, but they set clear expectations and help the church nursery minister more effectively.

Church Nursery Volunteer Worker Guidelines (job description)

Service Description – Early Childhood Ministry Volunteers

And Jesus took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” (Mark 9:36-37)

Service Titles: Nursery Volunteer (Babies & 1s), First Steps Leader (2s & 3s)

Ministry Purpose: Your role is to provide safe, secure, nurturing, clean and efficient care to our children. Your ministry responsibilities include playing with the child or directing his play, reading to him, praying for each child, exhibiting Christ-like patience and love, and relating the events of the day to the lesson and theme in words the child can understand.

Service Expectations:

  • Arrive 15 minutes before scheduled service time.
  • Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray individually for children as they play, as they listen to the story, and for the other caregivers as you work together.
  • Every child’s diaper should be changed before parent’s pick up. Potty training children should ‘try’ at least once.
  • Oversee the check-in process. All children should have name stickers on their back. All cups and bags should also be labeled.
  • Oversee the check-out process. Parents will need their “ticket” to claim their child. If they don’t have they will need to wait for the Children’s Minister before the child is released.
  • Clean and straiten the room after the children leave.
  • Report and concerns or ideas for improvement to the Children’s Minister.
  • Attend occasional Early Childhood Ministry meetings.

Interacting With Parents:

  • Always thank the parent for bringing their child. It is our privilege to serve them
  • Always smile (even when you are tired)
  • Always tell the parents about any diaper or feeding events
  • Always follow dismissal plan

Teaching Little Ones:

Early Childhood is best time to build a God-centered worldview for children. We have provided age appropriate teaching material for all Early Childhood Ministries. This material is easy to prepare and use. Instructions are written in the curriculum. Here are some suggestions. If you need additional help see Tony or Kellie.

  • Integrate the biblical truth or theme into the activities the children are doing. Take advantage of every opportunity to make the truths “real” to the children, repeating them over and over, applying them to anything normal around them.
    • Example: “Do you see the elephant in the puzzle? God made elephants. What else did God make? God made everything!”
  • Your role is to teach the children a short Bible lesson each week. It is important to be able to express excitement, energy, and love for God’s word when sharing the story and its principle. It is to be taught as truth, not as just a story.

Please sign and date if you agree to these expectations.



  1. Ramonda Reed says

    Thank you for such a special gift that you have shared. I would like to use some of your information for the nursery staff at my church. Beautiful!

  2. Marilyn says

    This is great! I’ve been setting up the nursery schedule for 3 years. I’m going to print some of this in our church newsletter. Hopefully it will encourage more volunteers. Thank you so much.

  3. bbcole says

    Is everything here termed “nursery” as 5 and under? Or is there an early childhood section and then an actual baby/nursery section? I have done the volunteer descriptions for our earlychildhood volunteers. I am looking for ways to word our two nursery descriptions. But it seems like perhaps you term all kids under kindergarten as nursery? Thanks!

  4. Judy Stepler says

    Thank you for the information and permisson to utilize your material. As a member of the Personnel Committee at our church, this format and information has been invaluable. I will respond later when we formulate the final draft.

  5. Ruth Dejesus says

    this is really encouraging! Your website help me a lot,not just through giving knowledge but also making my heart more passionate on serving God and His children..thanks a lot!

  6. Paulina says


    Thanks a lot for the information, it encourage us to serve better, thanks for your time and heart to share all this unvaluable knowledge, we serve in Mexico and there isn´t too much material, but this is great!

    Thanks again! Blessing from Baja Mexico

  7. Alicia says

    Thank you so much for the information that you have provided! I recently took over our church nursery/toddler rooms and we did not have any guidelines in place before I started. I have found your website to be so helpful! I was wondering if you have guidelines or some kind of welcome kit you give to parents of visiting children or new members?

  8. Amy says

    Thanks so much for this post! Very helpful to a new nursery team leader.

  9. tammyk says

    Deb, I agree with what the others have said to you. I would like to add, please give an extra measure of grace to the person who asked for you to volunteer. Sometimes when a ministry is struggling for volunteers, the responsibility can be all-consuming. Perhaps she saw you and knew that you’d said no, and was on a search for other possibilities and so looked past you and on to others.
    I’m not saying it’s right– we should take care to not overlook people that we don’t “need”– but it can be a situation that has less to do with you saying no, and more to do with survival mode.

  10. Shebba says

    I am a new parent getting back to my ministry at church. I now need to depend on the nursery at my church while I participate as needed. My church nursery is awesome with, as always for for improvement. I am doing my part by finding sound and valid suggestions to make things better for my children and others. Thanks for making your handbook available!

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