A frequent question in women’s ministry is how to handle child care. There are no easy answers, but if you want to include mothers of young children, child care is essential! Here are a few thoughts on providing child care at Bible studies, special events, and other ministry opportunities.
Ideas for Funding Child Care
- The church budget covering child care for women’s activities and events is ideal. If this isn’t the case, work with the finance committee for future planning.
- Charge a minimal amount per child ($1-3) to defray cost. Ensure you have enough workers by selling tickets ahead of time.
- Ask for donations from all attendees to help share the financial burden.
- Make financial needs of child care known. Other members may help fund this ministry so mothers can attend women’s ministry activities.
- Make scholarships available to those who cannot pay for child care. Consider coupons that may not pay in full, but will help those who desire to fellowship and grow with other Christian women.
- Add child care cost into the ticket prices so all share the expenses.
How to Utilize Existing Child Care
- Consider scheduling Bible studies and special events for the same times your church already offers paid child care workers for church activities. Extra funds would not be needed if the workers are already enlisted.
- Offering weekly groups during an existing Mother’s Day Out program will eliminate conducting another child care program at your church.
- You may be able to “exchange” children with another church. The other church could handle child care for you at your church and you would return the favor on another day of the week.
Tips for Finding Workers
- Enlist others in the church to help you find child care workers.
- Youth raising money for missions or camp could be “hired” and the money given toward their trip. When using youth, you must also have at least one adult in the room. Check state laws regarding legal issues.
- If you live in a college town, check with the local Christian organization on campus to discover students who need to earn money or fulfill community service requirements. Depending on their needs, the cost may be minimal or non-existent.
- Publicity for women’s events should include the need for workers. Women who do not plan to attend may volunteer as a ministry for moms who want to attend.
- Offering child care by reservation assures you won’t pay for workers who are not needed because of a low number of children. Set a deadline for reservations and a cancellation policy.
The Importance of Purposeful Child Care
An added benefit is to plan purposeful child care. The spiritual life of their children is important to women who attend activities to help them grow spiritually. Offer special Bible activities and stories. Many workers only need a little encouragement and some creative ideas to make the time meaningful. If the lesson can use the same Scripture the mother will study, it’s even better!
Other helpful ideas:
- Clearly define age ranges
- Vary locations
- Provide clean, cheerful settings
- Provide security measures such as badges for child and mother
- Label all belongings
- Know where mothers are in case of emergency
- Discover special needs such as allergies and dietary limitations
This article is an excerpt from Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level compiled by Chris Adams.