Keeping kids safe in church childcare

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - When services are in session, alongside daycare for little ones, a child’s safety is something many local parishes take very seriously.

After 2-year-old Noah Trout was abducted from a church nursery in Giles County on Sunday, many parishes are reassuring parents of their own security measures.

Becky Owen, children’s activities coordinator for Grandin Court Baptist Church, says there are security cameras on the property, and an assigned pager system is used to ensure each child gets to the right parent or guardian at the end of the day.

“When the parent drops their child off in the morning, we hand them a pager and we write down the number that’s on there, and we write it down on the board with the child’s name, and the parent, when they return after worship service or Sunday school, whatever it may be, if they don’t have that pager, we don’t hand that child over to them,” explains Owen. “They come to worship but they’re also wanting their children to feel safe and parents aren’t going to want to bring their children if they don’t feel like their children are being loved, taken care of and protected.”

First Baptist Church downtown also has a check-in, check-out process with matching stickers for parents and children.

The church has taken the additional step of contracting with local law enforcement during services.

“We have off-duty Roanoke City Police Officers manning the entryways and exits, so people have eyes on you every step of the way into our building,” says staff member Victoria Wood. “We absolutely want to make sure when they do separate from their child and go into the service, they can have that peace of mind.”

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