After considering the room options and sizes for children in a church design (we previously explained what to include for three age groups: nursery (newborn to 18 months) and preschool (18 months to 5 years), and school-age (K-5)), you should next address the critically important issue of security.
A good starting point is to decide what level of security to use and how to enforce it. This will help identify the kinds of security features that your church building will need to protect children. Here are some examples to consider.
A central check-in point is ideal so that kids can easily be tracked, and so that you also have a record of who is there. Another option is to let the parents take their kids to their respective rooms, then have individual check-ins at each room.
So, you need to consider several factors:
- Will check-in be self-serve or staffed?
- Will adult access be restricted to nursery workers and Sunday school teachers, and to the areas where kids are supervised?
- Do you meet egress building codes if access is restricted within these areas?
You may also want to consider how check-ins are conducted. We often see computer systems being used for both self-serve and staffed check-ins to keep an electronic record. And many times, badges can be printed for the kids to wear, so it’s easy to know who they are.
There are other ways to handle check-ins. We can discuss the options based on your design needs.
Low Visibility Windows and Dutch Doors
Low visibility windows are a valuable security feature, allowing visibility into the classroom. This ensures that a lone adult is not left with the children, which poses a huge liability for your church. At the same time, children won’t be able to look out the window and see their parents.
Dutch doors can also be useful because the top and bottom open separately, making it a nice option for checking in kids at individual classrooms. However, building codes may prohibit them in some areas, due to rated corridor requirements related to fire safety. In those situations, split doors violate the code.
Central Check-In Example
This photo helps you visualize what a central check-in might look like for your church building. You can see four terminals with tablets for self-check-in. Each of these has a small printer for ID badges.
Parents use these to check their kids into the nursery or Sunday school rooms. They stick the ID badge to the kids’ clothing and have a corresponding badge for themselves, so that they can claim their kids after church services.
It’s important to protect the children in your church, which is why we can help you find the best security solutions to fit the design of your kid spaces. Join us for our free i3 webinars to learn more about how to implement safety and security measures. Our webinars also discuss the latest trends in church design, developing a clear vision for your church, securing funding for your projects, and more.