If you have children that attend your regular Community Group gatherings, you’ll need to think about how to handle childcare each week. Be sensitive as you work with your co-leaders, as well as the parents of the children in your group. Before you make any final decision about how to incorporate children in your group this season, consider the following options.
Children or No Children?
Here are some common options when children participate with adults in the group:
- Children remain present with adults for the entire meeting.
- Children remain present with adults for part of the meeting, and then break into a separate group in a separate room. Children can develop their own small group, participate in an activity (such as a Veggie Tales video), or enjoy a supervised time of free play.
- Children join the adults every other meeting, or once a month. Children and adults meet separately during the other weeks.
- Children and adults meet separately for the entire meeting.
Finding a Babysitter
If you decide to have the children separated from the adults, it’s good to have a babysitter. Here are some ideas for finding and paying a babysitter:
- Rotate “guys nights” and “girls nights” where wives stay home with the kids one time and husbands stay home with the kids the next time.
- Adults work together to arrange a babysitter for all of the children in the group. Payment is split among all group members, or among only those bringing children.
- Couples from the group rotate each week, caring for the children in a different room than the other adults. Each couple does childcare once every two months or so.
- A babysitter cares for most of the children during the group meeting, but nursing infants are allowed to remain with adults.
- Outside of the small group, each parent arranges for the care of their own children through a relative or sitter.
- Older, responsible children of group members serve as the babysitters for the rest of the children of your small group.
- Young adults or teenagers from the church’s youth ministry volunteer to care for the children of your small group as an act of service.
- Young adults or teenagers from the church’s youth ministry care for the children of your small group and are paid for their work. Perhaps funding a week of camp or a missions trip.
- Participants of other small groups at your church (ones that meet during a different time of the week) rotate to provide childcare for your small group, which returns the service.