Who is Responsible for Child Care?

Q. The idea of providing child care for church and committee functions has not been a priority in our congregation. As the religious education committee, we feel strongly that it is not our responsibility to be baby-sitters and that committees planning events should take responsibility for their own child care. How do other congregations deal with providing baby-sitters?

A. "Each year I put together a child care hiring procedure handout," says Rev. Jory Agate, minister of religious education at Cambridge, MA First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church (190 members). “This tells people how to go about getting a child care provider for a committee meeting or church event. I list all of our First Parish 'approved' providers (high school students and adults who have worked for us in the past and whom I have oriented to the church). It also has a neighborhood college baby-sitting service as a back-up. It list fees, cancellation policies, etc. and it is available from the office. That is all I do each year to arrange for child care for a non-religious education event. We hand people the list and say 'go to it.'"

About the Author

  • Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

For more information contact interconnections@uua.org.

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