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The guide to recruiting church nursery volunteers

Are church nursery volunteers needed for your congregation?

Finding them doesn't have to be challenging.

No matter the size, denomination, or stage of growth your church is in, chances are you rely on nursery volunteers to make your services and events accessible to families with young children. 

After all, nursery workers are more than just extra hands—they're at the heart of your Children's Ministry. They keep your nursery program running smoothly, and provide quality, loving care for the kids in your congregation.

With these tips, you'll learn how to find the nursery volunteers you need—through traditional recruitment methods and by using new, trusted options like church child care apps.

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How to get volunteers for your church nursery


#1: Shout it from the rooftops

It may seem obvious, but the first step to recruiting church nursery volunteers is letting your members know you need volunteers. 

Here's how. First: consider the touch points your members have with your church. Then, leverage those channels to message specific volunteer opportunities.

For example:

  • Does your church send out an email newsletter? Include your volunteer program details and a link to the sign up form.
  • Are you active on social media? Create a few posts specific to what your nursery volunteer needs are.
  • Ask church leaders to mention volunteer opportunities at the beginning or end of services. Incorporate storytelling and real examples wherever possible.
  • Assess your print materials. Consider adding a section about volunteer opportunities with a direct ‘call to action’—a place where interested members can sign up.
  • Ask current church nursery volunteers to spread the word about why they volunteer. Organic, word-of-mouth recruitment methods go a long way. In reality, recruitment is everyone’s job!

#2: Simplify sign up

That brings us to the next step in recruiting church volunteers: make sign up simple. 

Create a digital or a printed sign up form. Try not to ask for too many details in the sign up process. Making sign up as easy as possible will help mobilize potential volunteers. You can gather the information you need once you've connected with interested members.

Consider collecting names and email addresses at check-in ahead of services. Or, create QR codes to include on digital signage. You know your church best, so consider which option or combination is right for you.

We also recommend creating an easily accessible volunteer page on your website. Include a link to the volunteer page at the bottom of email blasts, and consider adding the link to employee email signatures.

Pro tip: introduce new members to your church nursery volunteer program! When folks first visit your church, motivation is often high to get involved. Volunteering is also a great way to create a sense of community at larger churches. 

#3: Explain why church members should volunteer

Offering a 'why' is almost always helpful. As cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf writes, “We need to be connected to not only survive, but also to thrive: deep, meaningful connections are our deepest need.” 

So frequently, we believe that mobilizing volunteers for our nursery is us asking for more from already busy members...many of whom have their own children to look after. What we tend to forget is that, through serving, volunteers also help themselves by cultivating community. In fact, helping others through volunteering has been proven to help volunteers heal

#4: Define church nursery volunteer roles and responsibilities

Like any paid position, it’s just as important to provide a job description that sets expectations for church nursery volunteers. Let volunteers know upfront about the time commitment, necessary experience, length of commitment, and specific responsibilities. 

People perform best and are motivated to continue volunteering when they see how their service impacts the goals of your church. After all, it’s in our nature to want to contribute to something larger than ourselves. By clearly defining expectations, you’ll minimize confusion and turnover on your journey to strengthening your church’s volunteer program.

You can use this church nursery volunteer job description as a starting point.

#5: Celebrate success and show appreciation for your nursery volunteers

One of the most simple and effective ways to recruit church nursery volunteers is to show appreciation for the volunteers who currently serve. In Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor, she recommends acknowledging wins (or praising) in public

Did a volunteer put in extra hours to serve your Children’s Ministry during a holiday? Take the time to give them a shout out. You should again consider what channels are available to you to praise in public. A newsletter, social media, or after services are good places to start. 

To help volunteer leaders establish a praise rhythm, consider creating a ‘Volunteer of the Month’ program. Systems like these not only make volunteers feel needed, but also help build awareness for your church volunteer program.

In addition to acknowledgement, it’s key to show appreciation for your volunteers. Quarterly events, giveaways and luncheons are great, but as a leader, simply saying ‘thank you’ and expressing sincere gratitude often goes further than any extravagant displays of appreciation.

#6: Provide support for your church nursery volunteers

Sometimes, particularly during busy seasons like Christmas and Easter, what your church nursery needs most is support. 

If you’ve tried the above recruitment methods and are still in need of extra hands, consider booking background-checked, reliable child care providers through a trusted app like SitterTree

SitterTree is an industry-leading church child care app transforming the way Children's Ministry leaders connect with quality child care providers. With SitterTree, you can easily find, book, and pay background-checked child care providers to support your church nursery.

Providers on SitterTree aren’t volunteers and require an hourly rate—but they are reliable, caring professionals who feel like an extension of your team. You can start your free trial on the app today.

Congrats! You’re ready to grow your church nursery volunteer program!

To summarize, you can start recruiting new church nursery volunteers now by:

  • Making the need known 
  • Making it easy to sign up
  • Creating clear volunteer job descriptions
  • Showing gratitude and celebrating success
  • Knowing when it’s time to get support

It’s not always easy asking for help, but we hope that by using these tips, you’ll limit turnover, attract new members to serve—and overall—see your church’s volunteer program thrive!

When you need quality, consistent child care for your nursery, use the SitterTree app to connect with experienced providers who meets your unique needs.

Or get started with an introductory phone call.

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SitterTree does not employ any service provider nor is it responsible for the conduct of any service provider on our app. SitterTree operates an app for end users to book and pay service providers for child care services. Each user is solely responsible for completing necessary due diligence prior to booking child care services from any other user. All information provided in member profiles, job posts, and chats is provided by users and is not generated nor guaranteed by SitterTree.

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