Nursery and Sunday School
St. Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church, Thunder Bay
Updated by St. Stephen’s Parish Council October 2, 2017
The Diocese of Algoma Canon H-5 Screening in Faith requires a screening program for children and youth programs. These policies are part of the screening program as they are intended to reduce risk of inappropriate behaviour between adults and children.
1. For the purpose of these policies:
a. nursery is children aged 2 to 3; children under the age of 2 may attend the nursery if accompanied by a caregiver;
b. Sunday School is children aged 4 to 12; youth over the age of 12 should consult with the teacher to determine if a class is available;
c. caregiver means the adult whom the parent/guardian has entrusted with the care of his or her child; it could be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend; and
d. a teacher is someone who has been appointed as a teacher as noted in St. Stephen's Ministry Description - Nursery Coordinator or St. Stephen's Ministry Description - Sunday School Teacher.
2. Teachers are to follow the Nursery and Sunday School Policies.
3. A copy of the Nursery and Sunday School Policies is to be posted in the Parish Hall and on the web page. A copy will be provided upon request.
4. If a child under the age of 12 attends Sunday School without a caregiver being present in the building, the teacher will ensure that the child’s parent is telephoned to advise the parent/guardian that the child is at St. Stephen’s, and send a Consent Form to Attend Sunday School without a Caregiver home with the child if a signed form is not on file.
5. The Consent Form must be signed annually in September.
6. A teacher will avoid being alone in a room with a single student, whenever possible. A teacher should not send an older student off with a younger student to a room by themselves. It is preferred to have a teacher with a group of children.
7. When the Meeting Room off the Parish Hall is being used as a classroom, the upper door is to be left open at all times.
8. If a young child needs assistance in the bathroom, a female teacher should assist. The child is to be asked what assistance is required. The door of the bathroom will be left slightly ajar.
9. If a child is distressed, seems uncomfortable or requests to join their care-giver, the care-giver will be asked to come downstairs or the child will be taken upstairs to the caregiver by another adult or older child if an adult is not available. The caregiver will escort a young child downstairs if the child wishes to return to Nursery/Sunday School class.
10. If a child is hurt, the caregiver will be notified immediately if any first aid is required. If the injury is life threatening, the teacher will call 911 and then the caregiver will be contacted. In all other circumstances, the caregiver will be notified directly after worship.
11. Caregivers are always welcome to observe a class. If a caregiver would like to participate, she or he should ask the teacher if it is okay.
12. Once the worship service is over, the parent/caregiver is responsible for ensuring that his or her child/children is/are supervised.
13. Corporal punishment is prohibited.
14. Children who exhibit unruly behaviour will be taken aside, asked to correct the behaviour, and will have consequences of future problems explained to them.
15. If the child continues to behave in an unruly manner, the child is to be sent upstairs to his or her caregiver, and the teacher should talk privately with the caregiver during coffee hour.
16. If the behaviour persists the Sunday School Coordinator will make a phone call to the parent and advise the Pastor.
17. A caregiver or an adult without children in the Sunday School may help occasionally. When an adult is helping, a teacher must be present. If an adult would like to help regularly or without a teacher being present, he or she must be appointed as a teacher.
18. In the case of a teacher being under the age of 18, an adult, aged 18 or older, must be present.
19. The Meeting Room is available for women who wish to nurse their child privately.
20. In case of fire, the teachers will evacuate the students following the parish’s Fire Procedure Plan.
21. If a caregiver is concerned about the Nursery/Sunday School, he or she is encouraged to talk to the teacher or the Sunday School Coordinator. If his or her concerns are not satisfactorily addressed, then he or she should contact the Pastor.
22. These policies are to be reviewed annually by the Parish Council at the October/November meeting.