We believe that children from the youngest of age not only need to be well cared for, but also need to be and can be taught about our Great God.
Our Vision for Preschool Ministry
Most people when looking for the area of a church where childcare is provided would expect to find the word “Nursery”. You will notice that at Kiokee we choose to use the word “Preschool” instead. Why? Because we believe that children from the youngest of age not only need to be well cared for, but also need to be and can be taught about our Great God. We believe significant ministry to children begins in the preschool years and therefore we purpose to teach our preschoolers. We don’t ever want them to remember the first time they heard about God or Jesus. We want those names to be as familiar to them as Mom and Dad. So while we will strive to provide a safe and caring atmosphere for you to leave your preschooler in, we will work just as hard to make sure their time here is well spent and profitable for their spiritual growth.
Teaching our Preschoolers Biblical Truths
There are many avenues through which a child can learn. We have chosen three specific ways to help our preschoolers learn simple Bible Truths.
One way that information enters a child’s mind is through their senses – seeing, feeling, smelling, touching, tasting and hearing. Many or all of these senses will be incorporated into the teaching of a Bible lesson. For example, if the Bible lesson is about Jesus having breakfast on the beach with some of His disciples, then we might eat breakfast as part of the lesson (tasting, smelling) or we might have a beach center with sand and water (seeing, feeling).
Another way that young children learn is through repetition. Repetition is actually a necessary part of a child’s learning. Songs and stories become favorites to children as they hear them over and over again. Simple Biblical Truths become familiar to children as they hear them repeated in Sunday School, their Worship Hour Classroom, and Wednesday Night Discipleship Classes.
Play is a child’s full-time occupation. No one has to teach a child how to play; it is instinctive, built into their nature. Play does not sound very spiritual, but it is actually one of the greatest avenues for teaching children simple Biblical Truths. As a child plays with a doll in the home living center, a teacher can say, “You have a baby. Jesus was born as a baby. God sent Jesus to us.” As a child builds blocks, a teacher can say, “Let’s say one word from our Biblical Truth each time you stack a block – There is only one God.” As a child plays in the nature center a teacher can say, “God made the zebra. God is all-powerful. He can do anything. Nothing is too hard for Him.”
To maximize the use of the volunteers we have available for checking in our kids for Sunday School, all preschool age kids will use the Preschool Welcome Center for checking in. The Welcome Center is located on the ground floor of Bldg B, at the tunnel. Parents of children age Birth – 3 years should come to the Welcome Center for temperature check and security badges.
Our Preschool Ministry welcomes first time guests, and we will strive to meet your child’s needs while they are in our care. Come by the Preschool Welcome Center, located on the 1st floor of building B (through the double doors to the right of the drive thru), and let us know it is your first visit. A Preschool Facilitator will assist you with check-in and escort you and your child to the appropriate Preschool classroom and introduce you to the teacher. They will also be glad to answer any questions you may have.
- First time guests are asked to complete a registration card. This gives us important information we need in order to best care for your child.
- Upon arrival, a nametag will be placed on your child and you will receive a matching security tag. Please bring this tag with you when picking up your child. For your child’s safety, we only allow an adult or sibling over age 16 who has the matching security tag to pick up your child.
- When dropping your child off at his Preschool classroom, please knock on the door and a teacher will greet you. We ask that parents please not enter the classroom as this can cause other children who are experiencing separation anxiety to become upset.
- We ask that parents attach a bag tag (provided in the cubbies located outside each Preschool classroom) on their child’s diaper bag and label all items inside their child’s bag (bottles, cup, food containers, pacifiers, etc.).
- Please tell your child’s teacher if he or she has food allergies. Typical snacks served in the preschool include goldfish crackers, animal crackers, and Cheerios. Cups in your child’s bag should only have water. We have several children with food allergies and this helps protect them if they pick up the wrong cup.
- Pagers are provided for parents at each Preschool computer check-in station. Pagers will automatically activate once you remove them from the charger case. If you are needed, your pager will vibrate so be sure to carry it close to your body such as on your waistband or in your packet – it will not give an audible signal.
- When you pick up your child, please knock on the door and a teacher will greet you. Give the teacher your child’s security tag and he or she will bring your child to you.
- If your child has special needs, please be sure to notify the Preschool Facilitator so they can offer assistance in placing your child in the room that will best suit his or her needs.
Sunday School: 9:15am – 10:15am
Worship Service: 10:30am – 11:30am
*Note: All preschool classes meet on the 1st floor of Building B during 1st Worship Service.
6:30pm – 7:30pm*
Childcare is Birth to 24 months and meet in B105.
Discipleship – “First Steps” (2 and 3 year olds) meet in B106.
*Note: All preschool classes meet on the 1st floor in Building B on Wednesday nights.
Special Events and Church-Wide Services:
The Preschool is also open during special events and church-wide services such as Good Friday and Christmas Eve services. Childcare for these events is provided on the 1st floor of Building B.
Children in our Birth-6 months through 18-24 months classes promote on a regular basis in an effort to keep developmentally alike children in the same rooms. Exceptions are made if a different class placement would be an advantage to the safety or development of the child.
From birth to 24 months of age, children are promoted on the Sunday after they are old enough to attend the next class. (For example, if a child turns 18 months old on a Tuesday, he will start attending the 18-24 months class the following Sunday.) After two years of age, changes in development slow and wider age ranges of children are grouped in classes. Beginning with the 2 year old class, children remain in the class until they are 3 by September 1 – then they promote at the beginning of the new Sunday School year which is the first Sunday of August.
Occasionally, the 2-year-old class may have a large number of children attending. If needed, the oldest children in the 2-year-old class (who have already turned 3) may be promoted early to the 3-year-old class or a second 2-year-old class may be opened. Before a child is promoted, we will call the parents to notify them of the promotion. The teachers of both the class the child is promoting from and to are also notified of the change.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s placement in a class, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to ensure that our preschoolers at Kiokee are safe and that their time here is well-spent and profitable for their spiritual growth, we strive to staff each classroom with an appropriate number of preschool volunteers. Our Preschool volunteers and leaders consists of parents, grandparents, and individuals who feel called to serve in our Preschool Ministry.
Once parents of preschoolers have been attending Kiokee for a period of 6 months, they are asked to serve on the Monthly Preschool Schedule (up to once a month)during the 2nd Worship Hour. Others who desire to serve in Preschool must also have been attending Kiokee for at least 6 months. Leaders must be at least 18 years old, submit to a state background check and complete an Abuse Awareness Training. Prior to the first time serving, the Director of Children’s Ministry will mail leaders important information regarding serving in our Preschool Ministry and call to see if they have any questions. For more information on serving in preschool click here.
If you would like to serve in our Preschool Ministry, please contact the the church office (706) 541-1086.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our recommendation is that your child be at least six weeks old prior to bringing him or her to Preschool. Parents are welcome to bring their babies earlier if they desire. We suggest you check with your child’s pediatrician if you plan to bring them earlier than six weeks of age.
We are glad you have chosen Kiokee as the place where you and your family will worship. It is our desire that you encounter our Great God each time you attend one of our ministries or Worship Services. As a parent, we understand that in order for you to be able to fellowship with other believers and fully focus on the teaching of God’s Word, you have to feel good about leaving your child in our Preschool. A parent who knows that their child is in a safe and secure environment where the love of Jesus is not only being taught, but also modeled, will in turn be able to focus on their worship of the Lord Jesus. It is our goal to provide such an environment for your preschooler each week.
In order to ensure that our preschoolers are safe and secure each time they attend our ministry, we abide by the following safety and protection policies. For a downloadable file please click here.
If your child becomes inconsolable or unwell, you will be paged by the Preschool staff. Pagers are available at each computer check-in station. The pagers will vibrate if you are needed. Be sure to wear the pager on your waistband or in a pocket.
It is normal for little ones to sometimes cry when a parent or grandparent leaves, but this usually does not last long once their attention is redirected. It is usually best for the parent or grandparent to take a pager and quickly exit the classroom. A teacher will take a crying child and start showing him or her something interesting in the room. They may find a new toy together or start blowing bubbles or meet a new friend. Within a few minutes, the child usually joins in the classroom activities. However, if your child cries for more than 10 minutes, we will page you unless you want the teacher to continue working with your child to help him adjust to his new classroom.
Making Church a Good Place for You and Your Child
We want church to be a good place for your young children. We also want church to be a good place for parents, a place where they can focus on the teaching of God’s Word and worshiping with fellow believers. There are a few things parents can do to help church be a good place for both themselves and their children.
- A child’s adjustment to church is much more difficult after about seven months of age due to separation anxiety, which is not wanting to be separated from a parent or caretaker. At this age, children begin to realize that parents still exist even though they are not present. To help minimize separation anxiety, we recommend bringing your child to church early (after six weeks of age) and regularly so they know and feel comfortable in the Preschool environment and with their teachers, even when Mommy and Daddy are not present.
- Talk to your child about church during the week. This helps church become a more familiar place to your child. Explain that church is where we learn about God and Jesus. Tell them how much you love to go to church and that church is very important. Let them see your excitement about going to church. You are a very important and strong model for your child and you have the unique opportunity to use that influence in a way that has eternal significance. There are many things you will teach your child in the course of their life, but teaching them the importance of coming to church and worshiping the Lord is by far one of the most important.
- There are numerous teaching tools on the internet and in Christian bookstores that can help parents teach their children about church. Look for books that talk about going to church and what we do at church. There are also church play sets and puzzles with pieces such as the church building, the Bible, the preacher, friends, etc. that you could use to play with your child while teaching him about church. Remember, young children learn best through play.
- When it is time to “hand off” your child to his or her Sunday School teacher or Worship Hour Leader, try to be as calm and positive as you can about leaving your child. Research shows that babies and young children can sense their parents’ feelings even when the parents are trying not to let the feelings show. That means if you are upset, nervous or worried about leaving your child, he or she will most likely pick up on those feelings and act accordingly. Very calmly hand a crying child to a teacher and say, “I love you and you will be fine. I will be back in a little while.” It can be extremely hard for parents to leave their little ones when they are upset, but church is not only important for children, it is important for parents as well. So we encourage you to bring your child even if they are crying on the way to church. A Preschool Facilitator or our Children’s Director will be more than happy to assist with helping children who are upset or crying to adjust to their class.
Become familiar with our Preschool Ministry as well as our leaders.Here are some ways you as a parent can support the Preschool Ministry:
*Pray for the Preschool volunteers, teachers and children
*Serve children and their parents in the Preschool, partnering in the nurturing of the faith of our children
*Volunteer to help with preschool weekly set-up on an as-needed basis
For the protection of your child and the other children attending our Preschool Ministry, parents are asked not to bring a child who appears to be ill. A child should not be brought to the Preschool if they have the following:
* Diarrhea, vomiting or fever within the past 24 hours (Most pediatricians recommend a child be free of these symptoms for at least 24 hours before allowing them to attend a Preschool classroom.)
* Thick, green, yellow or constant nasal drainage
* Croup or a persistent cough
* Strep Throat
* Drainage or redness in the eyes that could possibly be considered conjunctivitis (“pinkeye”) or other eye infection
* An unexplained rash
* Ringworm or impetigo
* Any symptom of childhood disease such as Chickenpox, Whooping Cough, Scarlet Fever, or Mumps
* Any communicable disease
During the cold and flu season (usually December to February), parents are asked to please be especially cautious about bringing a child with a runny nose or persistent cough.
For the safety of your child, Preschool teachers, paid workers, and volunteers are NOT allowed to administer any prescription or over-the-counter medications. If a child needs medicine, a parent must return to the room to administer it. For the safety of all our preschoolers, parents are also asked not to have prescription or non-prescription medications in their child’s diaper bag.
We also ask that parents notify the teacher or Director of Children’s Ministry of any allergies their child may have.
If your child develops a fever or other symptoms of illness, you will be paged to your child’s classroom.
If your child develops an infectious disease such as Chickenpox after being in the preschool, please contact the church office immediately at (706)541-1086 so other parents may be notified if necessary.
In order to ensure our Preschool is clean and safe for your child, we disinfect all toys that have been played with. Tubs are located in each room for “Dirty Toys” and “Dirty Cups.” Used cups and toys that have been put in the mouth should be placed in the tubs during each class. Crib sheets are used by one child only and then placed in the dirty laundry. Disposable gloves are used for diapering and hands are washed with soap and water after each diaper change. Changing pad surfaces are disinfected after each diaper change.
All of our preschool rooms are vacuumed and cleaned after each use. Preschool carpets are cleaned quarterly and all preschool rooms are regularly inspected for safety hazards and health concerns.
A Nursing Room, equipped with rockers and a changing table, is available for your comfort and privacy in the 0-6 month room (B204) on the 2nd floor of building B.
Babies will be bottle-fed milk or juice as provided by the parent. Bottle warmers are available in the 0-6 months and 6-12 month rooms. We ask that parents write the baby’s name and the time they should be fed on the dry erase boards located in both of the baby rooms.
Once a child transitions form a bottle to a cup, we ask that parents not put anything other than water in their cup. This helps protect children who have food allergies to juice or milk products. If a child picks up the wrong cup, having only water in it helps provide an extra measure of safety. Most pediatricians encourage children to drink more water as it is a healthy choice. Thanks for helping to ensure that our Preschool is a safe place for all children.
Preschoolers age one and older may be served the following snacks weekly: water, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, or Cheerios. Please make sure to notify us if your child is allergic to any of these snack items. If you will be sending a snack from home with your child, please label the bag or container with the child’s name.
Occasionally, Preschool leaders will serve a snack that relates to the Bible story for the day. These snacks will be posted on the allergy alert signs located outside the Preschool room doors.