Parents and Kids

Our Purpose

It is our purpose to build up children in the faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We desire to assist parents in nurturing their children to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. (Ephesians 4:13 & Luke 2:52)

Vineyard Kids Activities

Sunday Worship Service – We welcome all kids from 5th grade and under to participate in our Sunday classes. There are two rooms available. Our Elementary room is for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade and our Nursery- Preschool room is available for kids 4 and under.

Youth Nights – For those 5th grade and up. There will be a short bible discussion, prayer, and then activities.

Other Events – Periodically we have events for all ages (movie nights, gingerbread house making, tie-dye). These will be advertised as they occur.

Sunday Mornings

Here is some helpful information:

  • The Nursery is located in the hallway on the right just off of the foyer by the main entrance.
  • Please check-in your child(ren)before the Worship Service begins. 
  • If there is no teacher or assistant in the classroom, do not drop your child(ren) off. Please wait until they arrive.
  • After the message, when worship music begins, parent(s)/guardian(s) are requested to pick up their child(ren) to participate in worship with their families. 

Sunday Morning Schedule

9:40 am – Volunteers arrive to prepare classrooms
9:50 am – Vineyard Kids check-in begins, children free play
10:00 am – Worship Service Begins
10:10 am – Children begin Bible lesson
10:40 am – Children free play
When Worship Music Begins or 11:15 am – Parent/Guardian picks up children for worship. (All children must sit with their parent(s)/guardian(s))
11:30 -11:50 am – Worship Service Concludes

Our Vision

The desire of the Ithaca Vineyard is to see children come into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and to grow in that relationship. The Christian faith is a continuum. We did not learn about Jesus death & resurrection in yesterday’s newspaper—it occurred 2000 years ago.  We know the good news of Jesus because one generation told the next, who told the next, etc. We too must tell the next generation about who Jesus is and what He has done. Deuteronomy chapter 6 instructs us to “impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy a long life.”  

The Ithaca Vineyard recognizes the children as functioning members of the body, and as such, form with their adult counterparts, “A church full of ministers!”  

Kids Role In the Church

The desire of Vineyard Church of Ithaca is to see children come into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and to grow in that relationship. The Christian faith is a continuum. We did not learn about Jesus death & resurrection in yesterday’s newspaper—it occurred 2000 years ago. We know the good news of Jesus because one generation told the next, who told the next, etc. We too must tell the next generation about who Jesus is and what He has done. Deuteronomy chapter 6 instructs us to “impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy a long life.”

The Vineyard Church of Ithaca recognizes children as functioning members of the body.

We desire for the Vineyard Kids’ Ministry to be:

  • A safe and secure place, where guidelines are clear to the children and respected.
  • A place where children learn to trust, respect and honor their peers and those in authority
  • A place in which children profoundly encounter Jesus Christ through lessons and worship, and where children can meet the PERSON of Jesus; not just learn about Him.
  • A place where children receive teaching that corresponds to their physical and spiritual levels of maturity.
  • A place where children pray individually and together.
  • A place where children are loved and accepted because of who God has made them and is making them to be.
  • A place where a child is trained for ministry and for life (Prov. 22:6).
  • A place where children can bring their “un-churched” friends to share the gospel with them.
  • A place where children learn to care for, and minister to, people different from themselves— the poor, the needy and the disabled.
  • A place where children are mentored by Godly men and women who are positive role models.
  • A place where the power of God is invited to heal children and families.
  • A place where children are not simply ministered to, but where they are able to minister to one another and to the church at large.
  • A place where FAMILY is considered to be the most important in the discipleship of a child.
  • A place where families are trained and encouraged
  • A place where every endeavor is marked by excellence, integrity, and love, as all things are done as unto the Lord.

Vineyard Kids Policies

One of the goals of Vineyard Kids is to provide a safe, secure and loving environment in which our children can participate and in which a parent can feel comfortable leaving their child. Our policies are designed to create a suitable environment for children and to intervene in and bring an end to situations when we become aware of them.

Facility Policies
  • Only scheduled volunteers and parent(s)/guardian(s) are allowed in the Vineyard Kids hallway during the Sunday Worship Service.
  • Children may not be dropped off without volunteers present.
  • Windows have been placed in doors to all children’s classrooms approved for childcare use. These windows are to be left uncovered at all times so that the view into the room remains unobstructed. 
  • Lights must be turned on in any room in which children are present. Lights may not be turned out for the viewing of movies. 
Staffing and Supervision
  • Individuals with a record of child sexual abuse or physical abuse are not eligible to work with children.
  • No person volunteering with children and representing Vineyard Kids may be under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or illegal drugs.
  • To be eligible to volunteer with Vineyard Kids you must: 
    • complete a Volunteer Application, 
    • pass a background check,
    • sign Vineyard Kids Policy Agreement, 
    • be interviewed by the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor.
  • All volunteers go through basic training to familiarize themselves with policies, procedures, and basic child care.
  • All volunteers must wear an approved identification while on duty.
  • Follow the two-worker rule: when possible at least two unrelated volunteers should be present at all times.  As much as possible keep child to volunteer ratios as such: 1 volunteer for every 3-5 children under age 3, 1 volunteer for every 8-10 children over the age of 4
  • All teenage volunteers must be supervised by an adult volunteer.
  • If children are being taken outside of their regularly assigned space, they must be accompanied by at least 2 volunteers.  The assigned classroom volunteers must be notified as to where children are located.
  • Any lesson plans that involve transportation of children, or any special activities, outside of the classroom must have prior approval from the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor and communication with parent(s)/guardian(s).
Security Policies
  • Volunteers report anyone engaging in suspicious activity or loitering to the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor or a pastor.
  • Childcare can only be provided on a Sunday morning when parent(s)/guardian(s) are present on the church campus. 
  • Depending on volunteers, all children will be signed in both at the Check-in desk and their classroom.  At minimum children will be signed in at the classroom.  Children will receive a sticker name tag with a number on it and any pertinent allergy information.  Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will receive a tag with the corresponding number of the child on it.  This tag is necessary to check-out a child.  If a tag is lost, identification will be necessary to check-out a child.
  • Sign-in sheets will document: date, first and last names of child(ren), approved parent(s)/guardian(s) first and last name for check-out, allergy information, and any other pertinent information needed.
  • Parents of children through fifth grades must pick up their children from the childcare program.
  • Physical contact must be limited to appropriate touch. Appropriate touch is defined as no touching where a bathing suit covers (examples of appropriate touch: top of head, shoulders, elbows, hands, sideways hugs).
  • Children older than three years old may not sit in volunteers’ laps. 
Restroom Policies
  • Children must be escorted by a same-sex (when possible) Vineyard Kids volunteer to the designated children’s restroom door – located in the Nursery and NOT the adult bathrooms.
  • If a child needs direct assistance, a volunteer will provide assistance in the presence of another volunteer.
  • Nursery changing tables will be placed at all times so as to be in view of all nursery volunteers.  Diaper changing must be performed in the designated area.
Discipline Policies
  • Volunteers will regularly explain and enforce the discipline policy so that the expectations and responsibilities of children are known and understood by a child.  Discipline is not about punishments, rules, and negativity.  It’s about guidance, correction, diligence, and teaching. 
  • All children will be treated with gentleness, respect and understanding. Remember the role that a child has in the church.
  • Never use physical means in dealing with a child unless in an attempt to protect yourself or others from harm.
  • Use of profanity and/or derogatory gestures will not be tolerated.
  • Stealing, fighting, verbal or physical abuse, or inappropriate touching will not be tolerated.
  • Rules are posted in each classroom.

Class Rules:

      1. Be Kind
      2. Listening Ears On
      3. Raise Your Hand
      4. Keep Hands & Feet to Yourself
      5. Be safe…no climbing…no running…tell someone
      6. Have Fun!!!

Discipline Actions: 

    1. Get on child’s level, look them in the eye.  Give a verbal warning, explaining why the behavior is not acceptable.  Give a suggestion for the right way to act or behave and help them to do it.
    2. If a child does not follow directions when you give them a redirection, remove them from the situation or activity so they can calm down and prepare to rejoin the service.  Place them in an area away from the other kids for no more than one minute per year of age.  Create an entry in the behavior log so that other volunteers may know that a child has struggled with this behavioral issue.
    3. If a child still does not obey, contact the parent in the service and have the child removed that week.  If a pattern of behavior continues with a particular child a meeting of the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor and the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be scheduled to find a way to integrate the child in Vineyard Kids in a healthy way.  A child is never given up on, just new approaches implemented.
Photo Policy
Allegations of Abuse

If there is an allegation of abuse, volunteers will report the suspected abuse to the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor and/or Senior Pastor.  Volunteers will not discuss the suspected abuse with other volunteers, parents, etc.  All information regarding the child will be kept confidential with the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor and the proper authorities.

Upon an allegation of abuse being made, the church will take the allegations of abuse seriously and will investigate. 

  • Situations will be handled immediately, yet with due respect to people’s confidentiality and privacy. 
  • Full cooperation will be given to law enforcement authorities. 
  • Appropriate care will be given to victims. 
  • If the accused is a volunteer or employee, the church will relieve him or her of duties until the incident is resolved. 

What is Child Abuse?

The following definitions (as provide by “The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse”) are provided to aid in awareness:

Physical Abuse

Non-accidental injury, which include beatings, violent shakings, human bites, strangulation, suffocation, poisoning or burns.  The results may be bruises and welts, broken bones, scars, permanent disfigurement, long-lasting psychological damage, serious internal injuries, brain damage or death.

Neglect

The failure to provide a child with basic needs including food, clothing, education, shelter and medical care; also abandonment and inadequate supervision.

Sexual Abuse

The sexual exploitation of a child by an older person as in rape, incest, fondling of the genitals, exhibitionism or pornography.  It may be done for the sexual gratification of the older person, out of a need for power or for economic reasons.

Emotional Maltreatment

A pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional development and sense of self worth, such as constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, manipulation; also providing no love, support or guidance.

Emergency Guidelines

Volunteers have been trained and should be familiar with what to do in an emergency.  If they are required to take a child from their classroom in an emergency they will also take all measures necessary to maintain the safety of the child and have procedures for reuniting child(ren) with their parent(s)/guardian(s).

Health and Wellness/First Aid
  • Children with the following symptoms in the past 24 hours will be asked to not enter Vineyard Kids.
    • fever
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • infectious cough
    • colored discharge from nose
    • discharge from eyes/pink eye
  • A child taking antibiotics should have received them for at least 24 hours before coming to Vineyard Kids.
  • First-aid kits are located in each classroom. Volunteers should be familiar with these locations. 
  • In case of accident or injury, you must fill out an Injury/Accident Report Form. These forms can be found in the Check-in desk. 
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should be notified if their child experienced an injury or accident during the Sunday Worship Service, or any activity. Completed forms must be turned in to the Vineyard Kids Director/Pastor. 

Contact Us

For more information about Vineyard Kids, contact Angela Sorensen at angela.sorensen@ithacavineyard.org.

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