I was wondering what kind of restroom policy your church has for preschoolers. Do you go into the bathroom or do you stay on the outside of the restroom?  I want to protect the kids and teachers. 

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Our policy states that if the child can go themselves then the child goes into the bathroom alone and the adult waits outside. If the child needs help the door is left open.

Our preschool rooms have bathrooms that are between two rooms. So, this makes this approach a little easier.

Thank you Matt, we used to have a restroom between the classes but now the 3-5 year olds are using the large public restroom or when we don't go in a group they will use the single restroom that we have. I think its best for that child to go alone and if they need help then we get their parents. 

This is what I wrote up today. I am waiting on approval from our Pastor. 

In Kids@Life we ask that our volunteers never enter the bathroom alone with a child. This procedure protects YOU and the children we serve.

 

For large restroom breaks take the same gender of children in the ladies restroom and have 1 adult and 1 teen in the restroom with the children. Teens or adults may Not enter a private restroom or stall with the child. You may prompt them from outside the restroom or stall. The boys may go into the ladies restroom while taking a large group for a restroom break.

 

If a child needs to use the restroom while the group isn’t on a restroom break 1 teen or adult needs to walk that child to the single restroom and allow them to go alone. Teens or adults may Not enter a private restroom. If the child needs help with their buttons then you may help in the hallway. If you are taking a small child that will need assistance take them into the toddler classroom and have the door propped open so that the other teachers in the classroom can see you in the restroom with the child. Only adults can assist children in the restroom.

 

If a child is in the toddler classroom needs assistants while using the restroom leave the door propped open so that the other teachers in the classroom can see you in the restroom with the children.

This procedure protects YOU and the children we serve.

 

 

I've been working on our policies and have had our insurance agent give me feedback. One of the things he suggested was to make sure any policy we create we can actually DO. Like don't require a certain number of adults present in the restroom if that means you can't have the correct ratios in the classroom. Or to avoid words like "never" and "always" and instead say, "To the degree possible, it is the intent of the ministry to provide two adults for service activities involving children and youth."

Our church meets in a middle school, so while I would prefer that our volunteers not enter the bathroom, the toilets really aren't designed for little ones. Our polices are:

  • Only those 18 years and older who have completed their background check may accompany a child to the restroom. All children must be accompanied to the restroom.

  • When working with toddler aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Enter the restroom but stand back by the paper towels where you can be seen by passers by. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation). If a child requires assistance, keep the stall door open and help the least amount possible. If the assistance is for zipping or buttoning of clothes, do it outside the stall by the paper towels.

  • When working with preschool aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Stand outside the restroom. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation). If a child requests assistance, keep the stall doors open and help the least amount possible (male teachers may not assist female children in order follow abuse prevention policies). If the assistance is for zipping or buttoning of clothes, do it outside the stall by the paper towels.

  • When working with elementary aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Stand outside the restroom. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation).

The main point that our insurance agent made with me is that if you find yourself in court, you'll be in more trouble if what you DO is different than what you SAY. So even if it means it sounds like you have less strict policies, the court would want to know that you actually followed what you said you would do. In the end, the policies end up serving more to protect your volunteers from wrongful accusations that actually protecting the kids.

Hope that helps!

Jill, Thank you so much for taking the time and answering my question. You have been very helpful and given me a lot of information I didn't know. Have a blessed day! 



Jill Nelson said:

I've been working on our policies and have had our insurance agent give me feedback. One of the things he suggested was to make sure any policy we create we can actually DO. Like don't require a certain number of adults present in the restroom if that means you can't have the correct ratios in the classroom. Or to avoid words like "never" and "always" and instead say, "To the degree possible, it is the intent of the ministry to provide two adults for service activities involving children and youth."

Our church meets in a middle school, so while I would prefer that our volunteers not enter the bathroom, the toilets really aren't designed for little ones. Our polices are:

  • Only those 18 years and older who have completed their background check may accompany a child to the restroom. All children must be accompanied to the restroom.

  • When working with toddler aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Enter the restroom but stand back by the paper towels where you can be seen by passers by. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation). If a child requires assistance, keep the stall door open and help the least amount possible. If the assistance is for zipping or buttoning of clothes, do it outside the stall by the paper towels.

  • When working with preschool aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Stand outside the restroom. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation). If a child requests assistance, keep the stall doors open and help the least amount possible (male teachers may not assist female children in order follow abuse prevention policies). If the assistance is for zipping or buttoning of clothes, do it outside the stall by the paper towels.

  • When working with elementary aged children: First check to make sure no adults are already in the restroom. Stand outside the restroom. If someone comes to use the restroom, request that they wait until the child is finished (in order to protect the child from a potentially harmful situation).

The main point that our insurance agent made with me is that if you find yourself in court, you'll be in more trouble if what you DO is different than what you SAY. So even if it means it sounds like you have less strict policies, the court would want to know that you actually followed what you said you would do. In the end, the policies end up serving more to protect your volunteers from wrongful accusations that actually protecting the kids.

Hope that helps!

Our preschoolers have to use a public bathroom as well.  We always take at least 2 no more than 4 kids at a time unless a jr. leader is available to come as well.  Leaders don't go into the stall with the kids but they do stand in the sink area to help them (and make sure they) wash hands.  Our bathrooms are a doorless set up, which means anyone walking by can hear what's happening, so it's safer than if there is a door. One rule we have is only women do bathroom runs and diaper changes.  This is for the safety of our men, since guys are typically looked at more critically in these situations.  

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