It is not easy being a parent. It is the busiest time of your life. What parent could not use some respite? And who better to offer a night out than the local church. This is a great way to mobilize the young people, seniors and adults together to have a fun night for children while parents go out and have an enjoyable evening. Here are some considerations:
Pick a good night – Friday evenings are great. It may be once, every two months, September, November, January, March and May. Perhaps once a quarter to get you started.
Convenient hours – You want to be open early enough so parents can drop off the children and then not to late so the kids can get to bed. 5:30 – 9:30 is a good format.
Dinner and snacks – The purpose of 5:30 is so most families would have time to bring their children in time for dinner at 6:00. A modest charge of $5.00 per child would cover all the costs and save the parents a lot of money for a sitter and food. A snack time could be at 8:30. A healthy dinner and snacks, being careful of food allergies, would be welcome by the families.
A lot of fun – Kids have energy so you want to plan great activities. There should be the big three. Age appropriate play time, craft time and story time.
Tell about other events – This is a great way to let families know about other family friendly events at the church. Give them a flyer, brochure or newsletter informing them about other children’s programs, parenting classes, education opportunities, sermon series and other fun events coming up.
Child protection – This is key. Parents want a safe environment for the children. Follow common child protection policies for churches and day care facilities. Adult child ratios, bathroom supervision, background checks, emergency procedures all make for a safe and pleasant time for the children and parents.
Get a team together and start dreaming how you could serve your community with a Parents Night Out!