Kids church check in—How to keep kids safe & parents happy

May 2, 2022

Your kids church check-in experience creates a lasting impression on families dropping their kids off for Sunday school, youth group, and other children’s ministry events. A good experience sets the tone that draws parents and their kids back time and time again to hear the gospel message. On the other hand, a slow or clunky children’s church check-in can leave a bad impression with your visitors, frustrate your church members, and exhaust your staff. 

Let’s explore several practical ways you can create an effective church check-in system that makes parents happy and ensures that kids are safe. 

7 steps to a delightful kids church check-in experience

Providing an accessible and user-friendly children’s church check-in allows for better overall experiences. Beyond that, parents who know their children are safe and secure are more open to engage in other church events and volunteer opportunities. 

Here are seven simple steps to streamlining and improving your children’s ministry check-in process. 

1. Greet families as they arrive

Parents are looking for a place where their family feels welcomed and their children are excited to attend. That’s why it’s important to train your welcome team to look for and greet families as they arrive, before they need to ask for help with checking in their children. 

As part of the welcoming process, provide your team with some simple greeting scripts for families, such as:

  • “It’s so great to see you guys at church today! Have you checked your kids in before?”
  • “Welcome to church! Are you familiar with the check-in process for your children?”
  • “How are you all doing this morning? I’d be glad to show you where the Sunday school check-in station is.”

Taking time to ask these simple questions easily identifies new visitors and ensures that they know where to go and what to expect next.

2. Create a kids church check-in station

Place your check-in area near the entrance of your building or classrooms with highly visible children’s church check-in signs. Select a space large enough for parents and children to not feel overcrowded. Consider creating a special check-in line for first-time visitors to give them a speedier registration process.

Let’s take a look at three popular types of station options along with their pros and cons.  

Self check-in kiosks

Children’s church check-in kiosks usually are faster to use, which helps eliminate long lines. To set up your kiosk, you can choose from a variety of devices like a tablet, laptop, or even mobile phones for registration. You’ll also need a printer if you’re using stickers for name badges and child pick-up receipts. 

The drawback to this kind of station is that it tends to feel cold and impersonal. It’s best practice to have someone available to help answer questions and fix any technical problems that may arise. 

Staffed check-in stations

Staffed check-in stations are run by volunteers located at a booth or desk. These stations tend to be slower, but they provide a personal touch and are important as some parents literally have their hands full with their children, baby bags, strollers, and so forth.  

Your volunteers can assist registering new families, explain the process for picking up their children, and also discover if there are any special needs or requests a family may have. 

Assisted stations with self check-in kiosks

Combining these two options allows parents to choose which kind of check-in works best for them. Your families will love having the benefit of a speedy self check-in kiosk, along with the personal help of volunteers at your staffed check-in station. 

3. Provide a simple & fast church check-in system

While there are many church check-in software options to choose from, Child Check-In on the Subsplash Platform stands out from the rest by offering powerful features, such as:

  • Check-in pin numbers—Create a unique pin number as an extra layer of security required to check-in and checkout
  • Kiosk check in & QR codes—Make self check-in a breeze with these features
  • Printed tags—Eliminate an extra step with automatic printout of tags or tickets
  • Simple search & registration—Quickly find your family by last name, or register yourself and your family for the first time
  • Church management software integration—Manage all of your systems like child check in, giving, people, volunteers, and more with Subsplash One

For administrators, it’s easy to set up a kiosk or check-in station. And with Subsplash One integrations, you’ll know when your families attend and how they are engaging with your church as well.

4. Provide clear information 

Because every church is unique, it’s important that your child care check-in system provides parents and their children with clear directions. For example, prepare a welcome kit for families with information about where to take their children, what time they can expect to pick them up, as well as what other kids ministries your church offers. 

Your volunteers should also be trained to explain these things with people as needed. Having clear information about your ministries is essential for setting expectations and giving parents peace of mind. 

5. Put safety first

Have your church leadership establish safety procedures and policies in writing, share those documents with staff and volunteers, and require that those procedures are followed. It’s important that the parents in your community also understand that your kids church check-in procedures are in place for their safety. 

Have experienced volunteers near the classrooms to ensure that security check policies are being followed. With these guidelines, systems, and procedures in place, your team can rest assured that children are going home with the right parent or guardian. 

6. Follow up with new families 

It goes without saying that following up with visiting families, thanking them for coming, and encouraging them to visit again is an important part of retaining church visitors. Another good follow-up practice is to invite them to upcoming events and activities. 

Whether it’s an email, phone call, or a handwritten note, be sure to follow up within the first few days after their initial visit. 

7. Seek feedback & ideas for improvement

Be sure to ask your visitors and staff for feedback on the kids church check-in process and systems, and look for ways to make the experience even better for everyone involved. Doing this is just one more way that your church can attract families and walk with them through their discipleship journeys.

Next Steps

Following these steps to set up and manage your kids church check-in helps your church offer a wonderful experience for your church families.

Over 16,000 churches and organizations trust Subsplash for the best digital tools for engaging their church communities, knowing and connecting with their people, and building more and better disciples.

To see a demo of Child Check-In on Subsplash One, schedule a demo today!



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