The use of check-in stations in church spaces for children is a well-established part of church design. These check-ins have been around a while, but their placement within church buildings and their size are changing. Let’s explore how check-in stations are evolving, focusing on the rise of self-check-ins and a few ways check-in areas contribute to security.   

Self-Check-ins Gain Popularity

Tech-driven self-check-ins have become the rage. These systems, which allow parents to check their children in via kiosks or computer systems, can reduce staffing requirements in children’s spaces. For larger churches, the personal assistance that traditional manned check-in desks provide remains prevalent. However, many churches, big and small, are now incorporating smaller, more flexible check-in areas to save space and streamline the process.

Self-check-ins not only make the process more efficient, but also cater to tech-savvy modern families. Parents can quickly check their children in, print name tags, and receive security stickers, all without needing to wait in line. This self-service approach can be particularly beneficial during peak times.

Enhancing Security through Design

Check-in areas also play a role in enhancing the security of children’s spaces. Strategically placed check-in stations can serve as security barriers, limiting access to only those that need it. For instance, a well-designed check-in area ensures that only parents and guardians who are dropping off or picking up children can enter the children’s space. It also ensures that all children are accounted for at all times.

Additionally, incorporating one-way or low-visibility windows in check-in areas allows for discreet monitoring of the children. These windows enable staff and parents alike to observe activities within the various classrooms without being noticed by the children or disturbing them.

To Have Dutch Doors or Not

Dutch doors, which are split horizontally, offer another type of security and flexibility in children’s areas. These doors allow the bottom half to remain closed while the top half can be opened, making it easier to control access and visibility. However, it should be noted that Dutch doors can only be used in areas with sprinkler systems, as building codes require non-sprinklered buildings to have one-hour fire-rated walls, which aren’t compatible with Dutch doors.

Some Children’s Area Church Design Examples

Here are some examples of modern check-in areas. The first illustrates a large check-in desk equipped with several tablets for self-check-in, along with a designated area for staff assistance. This setup is ideal for churches where both personal interaction and self-service options are desired.

The second photo showcases a modern check-in area with self-check-in stations along the wall. This design not only streamlines the check-in process but also acts as a security barrier, restricting access to the children’s space until check-in is complete.

The third image highlights the use of low-visibility windows and half-doors, similar to Dutch doors, in a nursery area. The tinted windows allow staff to monitor the room discreetly, while the half-doors help control access, and keep kids from wandering.

The latest check-in trends in church buildings are one example of topics we cover in our free i3 webinars each month. For more insights on church design, we invite you to join in. Sign up and see a list of topics on our website.