Whether you are a small group leader/host or the small group pastor/point person at your church, here are 7 childcare solutions to help your small group(s) thrive.
Childcare Solutions for Small Groups
#1. The “Swap” Solution
My personal small group consists of 3 families with a combined total of 6 kids under the age of 4! This solution that I’ve dubbed the “swap,” is what we currently use, and it’s been working well. After everyone enjoys some food, fun & fellowship together on the front end of your small group, separate the adults of your group into two parts when you get to the study/ discussion portion of your gathering (example: either men & women or these 4 people & those 4 people). While one half of the adults take 30 or so minutes to watch the video curriculum, talk & pray, the other half is watching the kids, drinking coffee and eating dessert in a separate area. After the allotted time, the two adult groups swap places.
#2. The “Rotate” Solution
For this childcare solution, rotate two parents or members out of the group on a weekly basis to provide childcare in another room. This is best done in pairs to provide company for the adults and to add accountability for the kids. Never rotate out a married couple, but instead send two men or two women so that relationships are built. (from Steve Gladen’s “Leading Small Groups with Purpose“)
#3. The “Trade” Solution
If your group meets on Tuesday and you know of another group that meets on Thursday, offer to watch their children while they meet & ask them to do the same for your group. (from Steve Gladen’s “Leading Small Groups with Purpose“)
#4. The “Use Your Church’s Midweek Ministry” Solution
If your church provides some type of midweek kids ministry or childcare, parents can drop their kids off at the church and then head to their small group afterwards. Some churches who have the space, will also allow for small groups to meet on campus during this time. If your small group meets in a home that seems too far away from the church campus, ask your small group point person if meeting on the campus could be an option for your group.
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Source: Church Leaders