Child Care

What is MOPS Kids? MOPS Kids is the child care program designed to care for your children while you enjoy attending the MOPS meeting.  It is designed to be similar to a preschool type program with a spiritual emphasis.

Who should go into the MOPS Kids? We ask that all children over the age of 3 months be placed in the MOPS Kids child care program.  This allows for the moms who are attending MOPS to get a much needed break from children.  MOPS Kids provides child care for children ranging in age from newborns up to and including kindergarten. We provide oversight for homeschool children from first grade through fifth grade, but there is no specific curriculum for children older than kindergarten age.

Who is watching my children? West Shore Evangelical Free Church has partnered with Messiah College for 25 years to employ high quality, outgoing college students who provide child care for Women’s Ministry events and other church events, including MOPS.

West Shore selects candidates who love children and are eager to serve, regardless of their primary course of study at Messiah.  However, many of the students are education or nursing majors.  Students must remain in good conduct standing at Messiah to be considered for employment in this program.  Each student must have extensive experience working with children whether through babysitting, working at a summer camp, or teaching/serving at their home church.  Only students that have had direct contact with infants are permitted to work in the infant room.

West Shore believes that consistency is very important in our child care program and therefore adheres to a strict attendance policy for our child care workers.  Each individual plays a key role as the children are most comfortable when they are being cared for by familiar people.  As a result, many MOPS moms often find that their children are recognized and greeted by name when they are dropped off in the child care area!  As much as possible, students are recruited during their freshman year so that they can serve in this ministry for the majority of their college career.

Each student undergoes extensive training at the beginning of each semester.  This training includes everything from church rules to classroom conduct, discipline, security and cleanliness.  They are also instructed on fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures.  To request more detailed information on our child care emergency evacuation procedures, contact the MOPS Kids Coordinator, Christine Faro.

When and where do I drop of my children? MOPS Kids child care workers are ready to begin caring for your children at 8:45 am.  Please try to arrive early in order to help with the flow of drop-off.

To locate the child care area, enter through the main entrance into the church and walk all the way across the lobby until you see a set of stairs and an elevator. Follow the hallway to the right. Immediately on your left, you will see our preschool wing. This area is for children ages 2 and 3. For newborns through 23 months, continue down the hallway past the preschool wing and you will find the nursery.

After you have dropped off your smallest children, take your older children down the stairs by the preschool wing, bathrooms and elevator. You will drop your 4 and 5 year olds off down the hallway by the Tiki Hut, across from the church’s offices.

Homeschoolers‘ class room is also down this hallway. Homeschool child care is only provided for children through 12 years of age.  In our homeschool program, we provide one hour of study time in a classroom and one hour of social time in the gym.  There is space on the gym stage for additional study time.

Nursery age children (newborn –  under 2 years old) need to be checked in and dropped off at the registration desk.  When the child is checked in, you will be given an identifying card that will be required when you return to pick up your child.  You will also have the opportunity to provide any special instructions for the child (nap time, allergies, time that they need a bottle, etc.) as well as your cell phone number.  In the event that the nursery workers need to contact you during the MOPS meeting, they will contact you via your cell phone.  If you do not have a cell phone, other contact methods are available as needed.

Preschool age children (2 years old – 5 years old) should be walked back to their classroom to be dropped off.  If you are not certain which classroom your child should be in, there will be a representative available or signage posted outside of each classroom door. Once your child arrives in their classroom, you will be given an identifying card that will be required when you return to pick up your child.  You will also have the opportunity to provide any special instructions for the child (allergies, potty training information, etc.) as well as your cell phone number.  In the event that the preschool workers need to contact you during the MOPS meeting, they will contact you via your cell phone.  If you do not have a cell phone, other contact methods are available as needed.

What should my child bring with them to MOPS Kids? You should bring the items that your child needs to be comfortable during their time at MOPS Kids.  However, we ask that you limit the items they bring with them to what is truly necessary.

All bottles, cups, blankets, diaper bags, coats, etc. should be clearly labeled. Pacifiers should be the clip-on type, labeled and attached to clothing (unattached pacifiers are often dropped and picked up by other children). MOPS Kids and its caregivers are not responsible for lost or damaged personal toys.

Please bring only plastic bottles, as glass bottles can drop and shatter. All bottles will be given according to your instruction.

Please use only disposable diapers when bringing your children to MOPS Kids. This is a necessity because of the prevalence of viruses, and the need to eliminate handling of diapers by the workers. Please bring a sufficient supply of diapers. Children will be checked and changed into a clean diaper approximately 15 minutes prior to the end of each meeting. If your child is potty training, he or she must wear disposable training pants (pull-ups) and a complete change of clothes is necessary.

Will my child receive a snack? Yes!  Nursery age children who are old enough to manage finger foods and all preschool age children will receive a snack during their time in MOPS Kids.

We depend on donations of snack items in order to provide this for the children.  We ask that each mom bring one bag of snacks each semester. Snacks must not contain peanuts or cinnamon in order to accommodate allergies. Pretzels, vanilla wafers, goldfish, or graham crackers are all good options. Please do not bring animal crackers as we have found that these may contain traces of peanuts.  A bin has been placed by the registration desk in the child are area for your convenience.

Should I check on my child during the meeting?
Please refrain from checking on your child during the MOPS meeting. This is often more upsetting to your child and the other children in the room than when he or she is left with our capable caregivers.

Pick Up
We really want you to have conversations with other moms! However, our child care workers are students and often need to return to school for class. Please come back to our MOPS room to continue chatting after you pick your child(ren). Please pick your children up promptly at the close of the MOPS meeting.

What are the health guidelines for MOPS Kids? In MOPS Kids, children’s hands are washed with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to eating snacks, after using the bathroom, or coughing/sneezing into their hands.

For the health of all the children, and for the peace of mind of every parent, children with symptoms of illness will not be accepted into MOPS Kids.  The Parenting Golden Rule is, “Do unto other parents as you would have them do unto you.”

Upon the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, please do not bring children with the following symptoms to MOPS Kids:

●    Fever currently or within the last 24 hours
●    Vomiting or diarrhea within the last 24 hours
●    Any symptom of childhood disease
●    Runny nose with any colored discharge
●    Sore throat
●    Any unexplained rash
●    Any skin infection
●    Pink eye or other eye infection
●    Head lice — child should be free from all nits

You will be notified immediately if your child becomes sick during the MOPS meeting. Caregivers will not give medication of any kind, including Tylenol.

We ask you to respect others when your child is sick. If your child is not well enough to attend MOPS Kids, they should not be brought into the meeting room with expectant mothers and small infants.