Writing A Church Nursery Manual In A Small Church

You must have clearly written church nursery manual regardless of your church’s size. In this article, I want to offer some tips and point you to other resources that can help you develop your own church nursery guidelines.

Ideas For Church Nursery Manual

Know your church culture. Many smaller churches will express skepticism or distrust to a written church nursery manual of policies and guidelines. This is normal and should not surprise or offend you. Small congregations typically have a much higher natural trust level among the membership because nearly everyone is related or long time members. But don’t use this as an excuse not to create guidelines for your church nursery.

Even little churches should have clearly written expectations. You will have to accommodate this attitude by writing a smaller manual. Even so, it is important to get something in writing that you can build on later. If your church nursery manual is not consistent with the culture of your church, your volunteers will ignore or resent your efforts.

If you are in a small church, do not copy and paste from a mega church nursery manual. For my church, we have a one-page set of guidelines that we post in every nursery or early childhood ministry room. I would like to expand this later. But for now, we cover the basics and try to model the more advanced items.

Balance trust and accountability. Writing down your expectations can change the dynamic of your church nursery. It can also damage relationships if not handled correctly. You must find ways to affirm your existing volunteers and assure them that you do trust them to provide care for the nursery.

At the same time the church nursery manual initiates a system of accountability and may offend a small number of workers. It is essential that you meet with nursery volunteers in small groups or individually to explain the new guidelines and assure them that “no one is in trouble.

Some Resources For Writing A Church Nursery Manual


  1. Deb Dunnigan says

    Our church is looking to start a cry room for children 2 yrs and under where parents can take their child during church. can anyone give me possible guidelines for something like this.

  2. Kylie Chesnut says

    Hello. My church used to have a fairly good church nursery to put kids in, but here lately, like in the past year and a half, the nursery has gone terrible. There is no curriculum, like music or sign in sheets or anything at all anymore. I was recently drafted to help fix it up, but I am only 17, and I am new at being aloud to actually help out with things like that. If anybody has any advice, I would really be thankful for the help. thanks.

  3. Tammy says

    I wish I had seen this sooner. :(

    Are you still in the same situation? Have you found a system that works?

  4. Melissa says

    I would like to read your one-page Church Nursery Volunteer Worker Guidelines (job description), but the link is broken. Do you think you could post it or email it to me.

  5. says

    In our past church – it was Southern Baptist – I worked with the lady who was the regional director of children’s ministries to write some guidelines. I had a newborn in the nursery at the time, so I felt it was reasonable to ask that only certain people could bring her out of the nursery after the service. I made cute paper cut-outs for each baby with vital info to hang on the wall by their diaper bags with a place for parents to write any special instructions. One lady objected b/c our church was little and we didn’t need anything that “complicated” and the pastor scrapped the whole thing.

    That was one of the last straws before we left a bad situation where the pastor was wishy-washy on everything.

  6. Brandy says

    I have just stepped into a nursery administrative role in my church, which is a fairly new church. We are in a situation where we have to put together and tear down everything every service (the nursery is in an office space). Do you have any ideas/tips that could help in this area. They would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Lorrie says

    At my previous church, I ran across a list of guidelines for what symptoms to allow and not to allow in the church nursery. It was called ‘Catching Christ Only’. Does anyone have a copy of that or something similar. If not, we’ll have to come up with out own…

  8. Carol Ford says

    Beautiful.. Thanks so much for having this as a resource.

  9. Carol Ford says

    Thank you so much for this website. I have found it to be very insightful and some ideas to share with our children’s ministry team.

    Thanks again!

  10. Anne says

    Thanks for the tips coming in to a new church working as adminstrators trying to fine tune depts, your site has helped. thank you

  11. Andrea says

    I was searching for a church website that may help our small church establish a vision for a fully staffed nursery MINISTRY. Thank you for this site. It has helped me to articulate why a nursery is so important, and has encouraged me to pray for the individuals that already volunteer to serve. While I have been feeling very discouraged lately, especially with the lack of servitude in our church, the Lord has clearly refreshed me anew with all of your thoughtful advice and understanding in this matter. We are not alone in this mission field, and your testimony here is a great proof of that. I pray that the Lord would continue to use you in a mighty way.

  12. Tabitha says

    Thank you for this valuable information. I have been our nursery director for 2 years and am looking for new ideas in the church nursery. This is truly a blessings. Many blessings always Tabitha

  13. says

    I should add that Gospel Light’s early childhood (ages 2-3/4-5) Sunday school material and year-long kids church kits are also first rate.

  14. says

    Little Blessings by Gospel Light is the best I have seen on the market specifically for nursery. It is a one year kit which can be used every year. It offers laminated take home card options which reflect the Bible story posters so that parents can review the content with their little ones. It is reproducible and easy to use. Good music, also reproducible.

  15. says

    We are using a curriculum from Children’s Desiring God for the nursery called “Firm Foundations.” I’ve also checking into a few others, but that is the only one that clearly focuses on helping toddlers to learn basic concepts about God.


  16. DK says

    Thanks for this post. I am in the process of creating policies, etc for the Nursery at my new church.

    I am also trying to discover what can be done in terms of curriculum – right now our nursery is from infants to age 2 or 3. I believe we can do something, but don’t know what the something should/could be. But I want it to be something that helps the team see themselves as more than babysitters, and also helps the babies and toddlers get an introduction/impressions of God.

    I would love to have you pass on ideas or posts that address this as well. What you’ve offered so far has really been helpful. Thanks again!

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