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Child Care
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Only one in seven Adventist churches sponsors daycare, preschool or after-school programs for children in the community. That is significantly less than the one in four congregations among all religious groups in America that do so.

Child care is one of the most effective community services that a church can provide, and it is usually self-financing after an initial period of investment to get started. Many child care programs not only cover the entire cost of their staff and operating budget from the fees charged parents, but they actually make a contribution to the general overhead costs of the church where they are located.

Perhaps more importantly, child care programs provide an opportunity for ministry with young families and single parents, demographic groups that are most likely to be looking for a church. For some children growing up in unchurched families, it may be their only opportunity to have some direct contact with people of faith.

One reason why Adventist churches may be less likely to provide child care programs is because of the extraordinary investment most Adventist congregations make in church-related elementary, secondary and higher education. Yet, there are many examples of preschool programs related to Adventist elementary schools which help to keep the elementary school alive.

Discussion Questions:

1. Has our congregation ever provided daycare, preschool or after-school programs for our own members or for people in the community?

2. Do local child care programs have waiting lists, or is the need for daycare, preschool and after-school programs entirely taken care of in this community?

3. Should we appoint one of our members or a small task force to prepare a feasibility study so we can consider this area of community service ministry?

The Adventist Congregations Today book and CD-R provide additional insight into trends within the Adventist Church.

Paul Richardson
Executive Director
Center for Creative Ministry

Creative Pastor e-Newsletter, Center for Creative Ministry