We have a lot of kids at Van City. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Jesus loves kids, and we follow in his example and teaching by assigning them tremendous value and working to care for them well.

Because of this, our goal has always been to not only create a fun environment for our kids to learn about Jesus, but to ensure that they are safe and cared for in the process. Everyone who serves with Van City Kids is background checked and given a detailed orientation so that they know our safety and accountability policies. We’re currently installing security cameras for safety and accountability. All that to say: We care.

Our lack of sufficient numbers for kids workers has been an ongoing issue at Van City. While our number of kids workers has never been ideal, it has recently necessitated certain changes in our policies.

According to our official safety policy, we are required to maintain a ratio of 1 volunteers to every 2 infants, 1 volunteer to every 4 of our 2-4 age group, and 1 volunteer to every 6 kids who are older than that. Last week, we exceeded those numbers by having two volunteers in a class with FOURTEEN kids.

Holy cow.

And while no one wants to turn any kids away, we also don’t want to risk the wellbeing of our kids even a little. From now on, when we reach our maximum capacity for kids based on the number of volunteers that week, we’ll have to close shop, so-to-speak. If it so happens that you show up and the classroom is full, you’ll be welcome to bring the little ones back upstairs or to the cry room (where the gathering is projected via TV). We realize this isn’t exactly a picnic for everyone, so the best way to avoid that scenario is to register to serve.

For obvious reasons, we require two workers to accompany any of our kids on a bathroom break. But if we only have two volunteers in a class of 14 kids, this becomes problematic. So, when necessary, our volunteers will use the number parents have registered with Kid Check to text and ask parents to come take their kids to the bathroom.

We’re sure your priority is the same as ours: To show tremendous concern and responsibility for caring for our kids. Our hope is that we will gather enough volunteers to render these contingencies obsolete, but in the meantime, thanks for bearing with us.

The best way to keep kids from being turned away is to register to serve yourself. Remember, we ask that both parents of any child in Van City Kids serve once a month. It is our hope to gather enough volunteers so that each of us serves only once every month or less.

Thanks so much for understanding.