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  #1  
Old 01-21-2018, 12:26 PM
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Ok, so I know this isn't exactly "daycare" related, but I wasn't sure where else I could share my frustrations.

Twice a month, I volunteer in my church's nursery- as I have been for over two years. There are a few policies I knew about, and one that just came to my attention today.

I knew that there's a rule that, regardless of the number of children in the nursery, there needs to be at least two workers. There is also a rule in place stating that at least one worker needs to be over the age of 18 (we do have a few teenagers who volunteer).

Apparently, there is a also a rule stating that there needs to be at least one "experienced mom" in the nursery.

So, this means that if I were sick, I can't switch with L, a mom, because that would mean that I would be in the nursery with N, who is 24, but doesn't have children, and A, who is 15.

Now, nobody told me about this rule, so I've been willing to switch with people in the past. I worked with my younger sister once. We were both over the age of 18, but neither of us have kids of our own.

A policy like this REALLY bothers me. I could understand a rule that at least one person needs to be over the age of 18. I could even understand a rule that they want someone who has been in the nursery for a certain period of time.

A rule stating that there needs to be at least one MOM in the room makes me feel like I am not really trusted to care for the kids. I have been babysitting since 2001. I have daycare experience many of the moms in the nursery do NOT have. While I don't have a degree, I have taken Early Childhood Education courses, and up until a few weeks ago, I was CPR and First Aid certified (and I will be recertified as soon as I can afford it). I think my experience and qualifications more than make up for the fact that I haven't given birth or raised a child of my own- especially for a volunteer position for two hours or so on a Sunday morning.

They say that it's to make newcomers more comfortable. They want them to know that there's another mom in the room caring for their kid(s). True, I am not a mom, however,

1. I have worked with children in some capacity for over 15 years (longer than many of the other moms have been moms)

2. I have worked in a few different daycare centers, so I have been CARI checked and fingerprinted. Whenever I get a new job, I have to submit documentation that I am in good health (including the Mantoux test).

3. While I don't have a degree due to some financial issues, I have taken several Early Childhood Education courses both in school and as part of CEU requirements for working in a licensed childcare facility.

4. Until very recently, I had a current CPR and First Aid certification. (My certification expired the same day I lost my job, and I haven't been able to afford to renew it).

I would think that these might make up for the fact that I haven't reached the point in my life where I am able to have children. (And for all I know, there could be complications when I'm READY to have kids. What if I suffer from infertility issues?)

Nobody else seems to think it is a big deal, and it probably isn't, but is it at least semi-understandable that I feel hurt that this policy is in place?
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:46 PM
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My advice to you is to volunteer for another church that doesnít have this rule if it bothers you so much.

Signed, a daycare provider with no children of her own
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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A rule like this bothers me a lot. So, so much.

I am not and will never be a mother. That said, I am someone who loves children, has ample experience caring for children, made the Deanís List multiple times in nursing school, and could provide references of parents who happily entrust their children to my care. I just donít have children of my own because of a bum set of ovaries. And that bum set of ovaries doesnít take a single thing away from my ability to provide top notch care to children.

And I think we all know that simply being a mother doesnít mean youíre good at taking care of children. I have personally known many women who had children that they didnít care for in the very best ways all the time. Iíve read endless stories of mothers who abused, neglected or even caused the death of their children.

I wholeheartedly agree with having someone over 18 and always having two caretakers. I would also not be opposed to a rule that called for someone with a set amount of childcare experience. If this were my church, Iíd have to talk to someone regarding the rule about moms. If the rule werenít changed, Iíd no longer be willing to volunteer in that nursery and would likely consider changing churches altogether. Churches are supposed to welcome everyone and should relish anyone wanting to volunteer regardless of their level of reproduction. I am infuriated on your behalf.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:13 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly with the PPs. Does the church know of your qualifications? I think, if you have your mind and heart set on this, you should sit down and talk with them. People like you have been instrumental in changing rules and regs. quite often! It, to me, is a stupid unfair outdated rule, for many of the reasons already cited by HappyEverAfter. It almost sounds like a discriminatory rule too.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:31 PM
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Like the first 2 replies, I have never been a mom either, or a dad, but have had more years of experience caring for other's children than the average parent.

If the church isn't going to allow you to help if there is no "real mom" with you, I'd just quit volunteering and probably go elsewhere.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:39 PM
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I am a mom and a toddler teacher, and I say that is a stupid rule. We have non-moms as teachers who are awesome with kids. I have also seen moms that I would not trust my child with. I would definitely talk to whoever is on charge, and try to get this rule changed.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:09 AM
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Considering I know a lot of moms who have no clue about how to care for kids this rule is ridiculous! Clearly no one really cares about this rule since no one is asking if people are moms.

Can you bring it up at a church meeting or something? Express how stupid this rule is and tell them about your experience and education?
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:26 AM
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The wording for the rules (if intended to make other parents feel better) should state "experienced caregiver" instead of mom.

I know a lot of mom's I wouldn't leave my dog with so giving birth to/raising a child doesn't automatically qualify you to be a good caregiver.

I'd petition the church board to change the wording of this rule. It needs to reflect today's caregivers.

So I take it the rule would also exclude a father that has parented and raised several children since he too, is not a mom?

Silly rule.....
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:27 AM
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My church does not have a mom rule or dad like that. I say make a meeting with the Children's director and express to them how you feel, leaving like suggested above with talking about it is childish and not a Christian way to go about it.

I was in the same boat for many years, I was without child for a long time and was treated as if I did not know how to parent by my own sisters. However, I was the only one with any kind of early childhood education and CPR/ first aid training. I was also a foster mom for a few years and I can tell you just because you gave birth to a child does not mean that you make a great mom.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:26 AM
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What bothers me is that this is a rule that I have no control over, and is something that may NEVER change.

At first, I thought the only restriction was on the teenage volunteers. It is true that they cannot control their age, but that is something that can and will change with time. A is not going to be 15 forever.

If there was a rule that at least one person should have X number of years working in the church nursery specifically (not just general childcare experience), I can accept that. That is something that will change in time.

Regulations requiring at least one volunteer to be CPR certified is something that I have control over (aside from the fact that I cannot afford the recertification at this time).

But having kids? That's not something I have complete control over. Granted, I'm not in a position to even start TRYING to have kids. So, who knows what will happen then? I may find that I am unable to have kids.

I sent an email saying that I want to be removed from the schedule because of this rule. I just don't know how long it will be before that happens.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:37 PM
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Men (fathers or not) aren't allowed to work in the church nursery.

Because men are predators. *eyeroll*
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Men (fathers or not) aren't allowed to work in the church nursery.

Because men are predators. *eyeroll*
ARGH!! I'm sorry but I'd have to look elsewhere to volunteer my services. Their attitude is unacceptable and intolerant, not to mention biased and discriminatory. My brother feels gay men must automatically be pedophiles. He had major issues with the Boy Scouts allowing gay boys/men into their groups so pulled his ds out. His beliefs are only 1 reason why I don't speak with him anymore. We're allowed to believe what we want but we're also allowed to avoid who we want.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:04 AM
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Like BC said- I would see about getting the policy changed from "Mom" to "Experienced caregiver".

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Men (fathers or not) aren't allowed to work in the church nursery.

Because men are predators. *eyeroll*
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:35 AM
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Men (fathers or not) aren't allowed to work in the church nursery.

Because men are predators. *eyeroll*
Our church allows men to work in the nursery. They have to pass a background check like everyone else. I'll say based on my own personal experience with abuse as a child the thought of leaving my own children with a man terrified me. But once I got to know the gentlemen who volunteer there I found that they are sometimes even better with the children than some of the women. My children LOVE at least 3 of the men who care for/teach them at church & they even talk about them throughout the week. If you can speak up & make a difference in your churches way of handling this issue it would be a wonderful change for many people. You could be a world changer starting right there in your local church. Just remember they'll be a lot more likely to hear you if you approach it in a loving way.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:56 AM
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Because men are predators. *eyeroll*
That is like saying all women are maternal nurturers.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:06 PM
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What a ridiculous rule. I agree that changing the wording to "experienced caregiver" would be a good option. I know you said you asked to be taken off the schedule, but did you also ask them to change the wording? Sometimes someone comes up with something that sounds good on paper, but implemented in real life is stupiid-maybe they never really thought about it?
Also you said you weren't actually told this is a rule? Maybe they all know it's stupid and it's an on paper rule only that no one follows. Or did they just let you know recently that you weren't eligible to take a "mom's" place.
In our church the rule that would have been broken in your scenario is with you and your sister. We require two unrelated care givers.
Also, men are allowed to volunteer in the nursery, but are not allowed to change diapers. This is actually a rule our insurance made us put in place
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:43 PM
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My church does allow men to work in the kids wing (3 years on up and fully potty trained), but not in the nursery.

I have made it clear that I don't feel comfortable working with the "mom" policy in place. They say that I'm still trusted with the kids and that I'm a "blessing." I know that any regularly attending parent who has kids in the church nursery would have no problem dropping their kids off if the nursery staff consisted of me, one of the teen helpers, and the only other adult non-mom who works in the nursery.

But they get a lot of "feedback" from newcomers that "having a mom in the nursery is comforting."

They say it's different from daycare where people CHOOSE to leave their kids or Catholic church where there isn't childcare available during service.

Actually, a lot of parents don't really have much of a 'choice' when it comes to daycare. Depending on finances, etc, a lot of parents HAVE to find outside care for their children, and daycare is often cheaper than hiring a private nanny.

And it's not like parents HAVE to leave their kids in the nursery. They can always keep their children in the service (we have a family room for that purpose).

And I'm still willing to bet that a new parent would be really comforted if they dropped their child off for two hours at an unlicensed babysitting job (where they are in the next room) and were greeted by someone with professional experience and CPR/First Aid training.

But nobody else in the church staff sees it that way.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:13 PM
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I spoke to one of the pastors today. He thinks this is a good lesson about accepting policies at work I disagree with.

If this were a paid position, I would consider looking at what legal action, if any, I could take.

The other volunteers donít seem to take this rule seriously. I was left alone twice today.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I spoke to one of the pastors today. He thinks this is a good lesson about accepting policies at work I disagree with.

If this were a paid position, I would consider looking at what legal action, if any, I could take.

The other volunteers donít seem to take this rule seriously. I was left alone twice today.
to bolded: run.
to the last sentence: run faster.

you're not getting paid for volunteering in the nursery, you do this out of goodness of your own heart, and no one can force you to follow the policies you disagree with. and, as you pointed out, if it were a work place, you could take legal action, as this policy is discriminative.

what if you were left alone, and one of the parents went off at you for something? what if you are accused of... whatever, and no witnesses are nearby? I had a Grandma yell at me when I was left alone in a classroom of 12 4-year-olds. I left children's ministry shortly after, as this continued to happen (me left alone, not being yelled at), and no one seemed to see the problem.

see if you can give your time somewhere else. many will grab you by the horns and be grateful to have you.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:26 PM
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ďAloneĒ as in without a mother in the room. I was in the room with a 13 year old volunteer. We had three kids: one is 8 months old; one is 2, and the other is nearly 3.

Policy may state that there should be two volunteers in the room at all times, but LEGALLY, I wasnít ever out of ratio.

I still think the idea that I need supervision to watch kids is so ludicrous that Iím not sure most people would believe it. If I were a parent and heard a caregiver needed supervision because she wasnít a mother, I would suspect the caregiveríssupervisors to be dishonest. I would wonder what was wrong with the caregiver because I wouldnít ďbuyĒ that excuse.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:33 AM
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I spoke to one of the pastors today. He thinks this is a good lesson about accepting policies at work I disagree with.
What a condescending a$$. I am not sure I would want to be a part of this church.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:44 PM
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What a condescending a$$. I am not sure I would want to be a part of this church.
yeah, this, too.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:05 PM
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Some work policies I disagreed with in the past:

I worked at a daycare that was VERY strict on scheduling. Naptime ended at 2:30 at which point every child needed to be up and doing some gross motor activity. There was no time allowed to transition between activities (including cleaning up nap mats, changing diapers, and allowing children to wake up).

I had supervisors reprimand me for not expecting to spoon feed 4 year olds.

I had supervisors reprimand me for not putting infants down to sleep on their stomachs with a blanket (even though they weren't able to roll over on their own, and state law states no blankets and they need to be put on their backs to sleep).


Thing is, as STUPID as all of these things were, there is a difference between a policy that is STUPID (like now allowing time to transition between activities/ not allowing children any flexibility with their schedule) and a policy that is discriminatory and/or borderline illegal.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:01 AM
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I couldn't disagree with you more.

Employers want workers that are willing to comply to policies and standards that are set up for reasons they believe necessary - a team player if you will.
This is NOT about us supervising you, and I'm sorry you're unwilling to see past that.
Your unwillingness to bend, because of perceived personal injury is something that will potentially hurt you in life, and your chances of finding employment in childcare or anywhere.
This is what the pastor sent me in an email this morning.

I'm so done.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:55 AM
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Wow, thatís just terrible. Whatís so weird to me is how they keep equating a volunteer position with paid employment. Also, churches are usually in perpetual need of Sunday School/childrenís ministry workers, so Iím surprised theyíre so willing to lose you over this.

Iím sorry theyíve been so unwilling to listen to you or see your point. As others have said, if thatís their attitude it might be time to leave this church. Iím so sorry youíve had to go through this.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:01 AM
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Ask him how he would feel being told that he himself couldnít be left alone in the nursery of his own church without a babysitter for being male..

Actually donít. Just professionally inform him that you will be finding another church to volunteer at and leave.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:55 AM
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If this were a paid position, I would be looking into what legal action (if any) I could take. Unfortunately, it's not as cut and dry as a policy that said that I can't be alone with kids because of my race, but it's still discriminatory.

Church policy also states that men cannot work in the church nursery because children are in diapers. Now, men in general may not feel comfortable changing diapers, but a policy that states that men are not allowed to work in the nursery is gender discrimination.

I understand the church policy that there needs to be at least two servants in the room at all times. It's a little ridiculous when we only have three kids to have 3 or 4 people watching the kids (especially when I'd be able to handle all 3 kids on my own, and the mother of two of the kids would have no problem leaving me with both of them). However, as ridiculous as that policy seems at times, I understand how it is put in place for safety measures. Honestly, I wish more daycares/preschools were like that. I would love to work at a school that required at least two teachers in a classroom even if ratios would allow for one.

However, I just can't get behind a policy that states that there needs to be a MOTHER in the room. That's completely discriminatory in nature, and I cannot imagine how PISSED I would be if I were struggling with infertility issues and unable to have kids.


By the way, I would to have both male and female daycare staff even working with younger kids. Again, however, I would also like to stick to a policy that states that there are two adults in the room at all times (and/or a camera system)- regardless of whether or not the staff members were male or female. All staff members would be held to the same standards: background checks, monitoring to protect the staff members and the children.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:26 AM
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If this were a paid position, I would be looking into what legal action (if any) I could take. Unfortunately, it's not as cut and dry as a policy that said that I can't be alone with kids because of my race, but it's still discriminatory.

Church policy also states that men cannot work in the church nursery because children are in diapers. Now, men in general may not feel comfortable changing diapers, but a policy that states that men are not allowed to work in the nursery is gender discrimination.

I understand the church policy that there needs to be at least two servants in the room at all times. It's a little ridiculous when we only have three kids to have 3 or 4 people watching the kids (especially when I'd be able to handle all 3 kids on my own, and the mother of two of the kids would have no problem leaving me with both of them). However, as ridiculous as that policy seems at times, I understand how it is put in place for safety measures. Honestly, I wish more daycares/preschools were like that. I would love to work at a school that required at least two teachers in a classroom even if ratios would allow for one.

However, I just can't get behind a policy that states that there needs to be a MOTHER in the room. That's completely discriminatory in nature, and I cannot imagine how PISSED I would be if I were struggling with infertility issues and unable to have kids.


By the way, I would to have both male and female daycare staff even working with younger kids. Again, however, I would also like to stick to a policy that states that there are two adults in the room at all times (and/or a camera system)- regardless of whether or not the staff members were male or female. All staff members would be held to the same standards: background checks, monitoring to protect the staff members and the children.
Churches are religious entities.

That means they are not bound by any discriminatory laws that many child care situations are obligated to observe.

Many are able to have whatever rules they see fit.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:27 AM
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I would go above his head to the board.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:16 AM
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How long has this been a rule?

How long have you volunteered?

Does anyone else have an issue with this or ever brought it up.

If they have new comers that have asked for this as you stated, then they feel they are needing this rule in place.

Every time you are in the nursery without a "mom", find someone, let them know there is no "mom" in there and tell them that you aren't not comfortable breaking the rules so would they be able to go find a "mom" to be in there with you. This rule will get changed very quickly if they are constantly having to go try and find someone so they aren't breaking there own rules. If they say, no just go ahead, let them know that no you are a rule follower and there needs to also be a "mom" in there. It will change quick.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:25 AM
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Churches are religious entities.

That means they are not bound by any discriminatory laws that many child care situations are obligated to observe.

Many are able to have whatever rules they see fit.
Just because it's not illegal doesn't make it right.

I'm not looking at taking any kind of legal action for a volunteer position. I'm just saying that if something similar happened at a paid daycare job, I would be looking at the legality of it.

But even if the church is technically exempt from discriminatory laws, it doesn't change the fact that the church is making a blanket judgement based on whether its volunteers are mothers or not. I cannot take any action against them, but that doesn't mean I need to continue to work under these rules that are not only offensive, but make me doubt my own competence in caring for children.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:32 AM
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Just because it's not illegal doesn't make it right.

I'm not looking at taking any kind of legal action for a volunteer position. I'm just saying that if something similar happened at a paid daycare job, I would be looking at the legality of it.

But even if the church is technically exempt from discriminatory laws, it doesn't change the fact that the church is making a blanket judgement based on whether its volunteers are mothers or not. I cannot take any action against them, but that doesn't mean I need to continue to work under these rules that are not only offensive, but make me doubt my own competence in caring for children.
~"it doesn't change the fact that the church is making a blanket judgement based on whether its volunteers are mothers or not..."

^^ this pretty much sums up church and religion in and of itself. Almost ALL religions have blanket beliefs towards or about others. This is also why so many have issues with organized religion now days.

For example, A certain religion does not believe you will be accepted into Heaven as one of God's children if you are not baptized. Therefore all that are not baptized are not children of God. It's a blanket statement that may or may not be true. Depends on what you believe. Doesn't mean either side is right/wrong or in between. It's simply the belief of that particular religious group.

Not illegal but not necessary wrong either.

"~....that doesn't mean I need to continue to work under these rules"

You are right. You don't have to.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:43 AM
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How long has this been a rule?

How long have you volunteered?

Does anyone else have an issue with this or ever brought it up.

If they have new comers that have asked for this as you stated, then they feel they are needing this rule in place.

Every time you are in the nursery without a "mom", find someone, let them know there is no "mom" in there and tell them that you aren't not comfortable breaking the rules so would they be able to go find a "mom" to be in there with you. This rule will get changed very quickly if they are constantly having to go try and find someone so they aren't breaking there own rules. If they say, no just go ahead, let them know that no you are a rule follower and there needs to also be a "mom" in there. It will change quick.
I have been a volunteer since August 2015. Apparently, this has always been the policy, but it's one that they didn't tell everyone (including me). My mom has had me cover for her in the past even though it meant the room had two non-moms caring for the kids because even she didn't know about this policy.

Most of the time, it's really a non-issue since there are only 2 non-moms who are over the age of 18, but twice this past Sunday, I had to remind the other moms about this rule.

We had three children: S, age 2, I, age 2-1/2, and K, almost 9 months. I and K are sisters, and their mom was one of the volunteers in the nursery. (S is the youngest son of the pastor).

We had four volunteers that morning. A 13 year old, two mothers, and myself. At one point, one of the mom volunteers stepped out of the room to use the restroom. The second mom volunteer (whose own kids were in the nursery) stepped out after the other mom stepped out. I was too late to stop anything (since the second mom tried to sneak out for a minute before her kids noticed).

Then, later, at the end of the service, both moms were stepping out of the room. One was going to get the vacuum; the other was leaving to pick up her kids from the children's wing. I was able to stop anyone from leaving. (At that time, only ONE child was signed in).

Clearly, the other moms in the nursery see no problem with leaving me as the "adult" in charge; it's just the church's policy.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:51 AM
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When did you find out about the rule? You've been in there three years so did you just find out about it or known for awhile.

What I would do, is just hang a reminder up stating the policy and let the mom's know they can't leave unless there is one in the nursery to take their place. Maybe have them put a reminder in the bulletin or in the announcements so that everyone can hear and see it. Maybe this way others will bring it up and then it will be changed.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:15 PM
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When did you find out about the rule? You've been in there three years so did you just find out about it or known for awhile.

What I would do, is just hang a reminder up stating the policy and let the mom's know they can't leave unless there is one in the nursery to take their place. Maybe have them put a reminder in the bulletin or in the announcements so that everyone can hear and see it. Maybe this way others will bring it up and then it will be changed.
I just found out about it about a week ago. I asked for clarification (thinking they used "mom" in place of "experienced, adult caregiver"). I confirmed that they did, in fact, mean to say MOM.

I don't have the right to hang any signs up in the nursery, but I admit that's the kind of passive-aggressive thing I would do.

I'm debating my overall involvement with this church; not just because of this issue with the nursery, but because of other, personal, issues I have been having.
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