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Modern Paging Systems Connect Parents and Church Nurseries


As houses of worship continue to expand and add families to their congregations, they are also adding new services in ever-growing buildings and campuses. In the largest churches, the nursery or Sunday school may be some distance away from the main congregation hall. And, for many young children, the church nursery may be their first experience in a formal childcare setting, away from the reassuring presence of their parents. Often, right in the middle of a sermon, a child may need something that only a parent can provide. And, of course, even in the most attentive nursery, accidents can happen.

So, how can nursery staff quickly contact parents who might be quite a distance away, or even in another building, without disrupting services for everyone else?  For more and more churches, the answer is a discreet, private paging system.

Familiar, Easy-to-Use Technology
Most people are familiar with the paging systems used by restaurants. Each customer waiting for a table is given their own pager, and when their table opens up, restaurant staff sends a radio signal to a specific pager. This same technology is now being implemented by churches, most often as a link between the nursery and parents in the congregation.

When parents check their children into the nursery or Sunday school, they are given a numbered, pocket-sized pager that can be set to a silent, vibrate mode. If church staff needs to reach parents quickly, they simply press the corresponding button on a numbered control panel to summon parents.

Advantages for Staff and Parents
This high-tech method has a number of advantages.

Nursery or Sunday school staff can remain with the group of children instead of sending someone to seek out parents. Worship services and other adult activities aren't interrupted by a staff member looking for parents. Parents can have peace of mind during services or classes, knowing that the staff can inform them on a moment's notice if they are needed by their children. And, these systems can be designed to span even the largest campuses, making one-to-one, staff-to-parent communication instantaneous.

Beyond the Nursery
Private paging systems can also be used for quick and easy communication among church staff.

Some systems allow for numeric codes to be sent to pagers, or groups of pagers. In this way, security staff can be alerted of different situations. Sunday school staff can be told when to prepare children for departure. Parking staff can be alerted when the congregation is preparing to leave.

The possibilities are really only limited by the needs and imagination of the church.

Features to Consider
There are several manufacturers of paging systems, offering a variety of features and functions. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a system for your church:

1. Number of Pagers
Some systems are limited in the number of pagers you can use with the system, while others allow expandability up to 1,000 pagers or more. Make sure you select a system that can handle your needs for today and tomorrow.

2. Range
Know how far your paging system must reach to cover your entire church or campus. Also be aware that walls and other obstacles can affect range.

3. Group Paging
If you have a need to page groups of people all at once, be sure to select a system that can support this need. There are paging systems available that can communicate with groups at the press of a button, instead of signaling each pager individually.

4. Recharge Capability
Some paging systems use traditional batteries, while others have recharging stations that recharge each pager's internal power system. Be sure to select a system that gives you the most for your money and meets your specific needs.

5. Other Features
In addition to paging, some systems provide monitoring of doors, windows, kitchen freezers, and other systems. When a door is opened, these systems can alert staff if necessary.

A modern paging system can be an important part of any church's technology investment. It's a simple way to help the congregation feel more connected to their kids. It can help staff communicate silently and efficiently. It can provide added security in emergencies. And, it can be tailored to the exact needs of your particular church – often for a surprisingly small investment.

Eric Bolt is with Bolt Communications, www.boltcom.com.

Product Roundup

Mustardwinds Graphics
Mustardwinds Graphics has introduced a new line of posters to brighten up your children's area. First impressions are visual and long-lasting. These bold, crisp images carry with them timeless Biblical truths that children will remember well into their developmental years. Each image is printed on 100lb. UV coated gloss stock and measure a full 18" x 24" and are shipped rolled, not folded. They look great in any of the readily available poster frames and say you value the place where your children will learn the most valuable message in life, that Jesus loves them and cares for them.
www.mustardwinds.com

Jonti-Craft's ThriftyKYDZ
Jonti-Craft has introduced its ThriftyKYDZ lineup of ready-to-assemble furniture. ThriftyKYDZ products come in ready-to-assemble format and are available in more than 20 of the most popular early learning furniture designs. It's the same great Jonti-Craft quality available at a lower cost. All ThriftyKYDZ products can ship via common carrier and ship flat – so you spend less on the product and less on freight. Jonti-Craft is a leading manufacturer of high-quality wood and laminate furniture for the early learning market.
www.jonti-craft.com

Shelby's Check-In Software System
Shelby's Check-In Software System helps you protect your most important assets: your children and youth. With their products, you can ensure security, track attendance, and create interactive kiosks. Assure peace of mind with Check-In's nursery security capabilities: print receipts, labels and time-stamped records. Ensure that the children in your care are returned safely to their legal guardian. Unite your organizational information with attendance statistics. Improve the speed and efficiency of your attendance tracking.
www.shelbyinc.com/checkin

Parent SEEKER
The SEEKER Paging Systems are used in children's ministries to assure parents that if their child needs them, the children's workers can notify them anywhere on the church campus. The helpful sales consultants guide the churches in picking the right system for their church, either large are small. SEEKER's Easy Check In Software allows for additional security. The Web-based solution provides for speedy check in, a variety of labels, and ministry record tools.
www.parentseeker.com

ID ME
What if…? Lines were a thing of the past? Churches could offer security for their children? Check-in for kids, youth and volunteers was self serve? Scheduling for volunteers was effortless? Church staff could spend more time building relationships and less time doing tasks? A church management system was at a price you could afford? No more "What Ifs."  Now, there are just possibilities. Begin your churches revolution today with ID ME.
www.idmenetwork.com

ABC Feelings Carpets
Available in three different sizes, the ABC Feelings carpet allows several children into a setting, thereby helping the children to learn to interact amongst themselves about their feelings. Carpets are not only fun and educational; they have a 10-year warranty and class one flammability, meeting government and school specifications. The ABC Feelings system is a proven method to allow children to recognize and then express feelings, shifting the energy from upset to understanding.
www.abcfeelings.com

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