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3 Questions to Ask Before Registering Your Child for VBS (Vacation Bible School)



We haven't done much parenting tips in quite a while but with "VBS Hopping" becoming increasingly more popular each year, I had to ask myself,"What do the parents know about the Churches they are leaving their child(ren) with?"

The following is my top three questions to ask before signing your child up for VBS this summer:



1) Has the Church Conducted Criminal Background Checks?

Did you know that churches are not legally required to perform a criminal background check on volunteers? It's true. A background check is merely a recommendation made by their insurance company, but not a requirement.



This is frightening.

Next to schooling outside of the home, church is where your child is most vulnerable. Do you know who has access to your child?



A survey conducted by Church Law and Tax Report found that church volunteers commit 50 percent of all incidents of sexual abuse in churches, paid staff commit 30 percent, and other children commit 20 percent. Information Obtained from Children's Ministry Magazine.



2) How will the Church Identify Who Will Pickup Your Child?

Next to the importance of knowing who will be with your child, you should also ask what policies they will have in place for picking up your child. Will you have matching wristlets each day? Will you need to provide a photo id? What will they do if someone doesn't have the required items with them and is demanding the child? How will they proceed? What does their policy state? These are the questions you need to be asking.


Another factor to consider during pickup is where will the children be held in waiting for pickup? You want to be sure your child will not be playing and chatting with their friends near cars or other hazards.




3) What Do They Plan To Teach?

Does the Church(s) you have selected teach from doctrines you follow? Do you know what curriculum they plan to use? This is especially important if you plan on allowing your child to visit a church that isn't your own and isn't affiliated with your home Church. Just because a church is listed as the denomination of your preference, doesn't mean they aren't teaching beyond your beliefs.


Ask what curriculum they plan to use and if they have a web address for the curriculum creators you can follow up with.


Also, ask if they plan on deviating from the curriculum and if the classroom leaders are prepared to answer questions appropriately. I don't know how many complaints I have heard from parents over the years about inaccurate information being provided to their child from a Sunday School or VBS Teacher. Be sure they have properly trained their teaching volunteers and helpers.



Annmarie John
32 Comments
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32 comments:

  1. What is VBS? From reading your post it sounds like CCD? At our church we have family style learning, so the kids are with us the whole time.

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  2. I was actually going to ask the same question as Robin above, but think it is CCD, too. But still great questions to indeed ask.

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  3. Good tips! There are so many VBSes around here to choose from.

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  4. These are all great questions to ask. Never assume that just because it is a church that they have it all under control.

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  5. YIKES! Great tips...my son starts Sunday and I didn't think to ask.

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  6. These are great tips. My daughters just got done with VBS.

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  7. These are very good questions. Important to know the answers.

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  8. Those are great things to ask at VBS. We've done quite a few of them and I never thought to ask if they did background checks.

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  9. Very smart tips. There's been a lot of talk lately about people using VBS as free daycare and not really looking into it. My kids usually go to either the one at our church or at my youngest's school: both we are very familiar with the people running them.

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  10. I hadn't even considered these points. I'm familiar with VBS, but I have only attended it at a church that I'm very familiar with (or that my son also attends.) The church my son goes actually has a pretty intense check-in/-out system complete with pagers in case we need to be reached (and I don't drop him off and leave the premises.)

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  11. Those are very important questions to ask. Being able to talk to someone that has been there before could also help.

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  12. I'd want to know the answers to the first two questions for anyone in contact with my child, not just for religious instruction.

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  13. That's so disturbing. I didn't realize there was a trend of people randomly leaving their children at these places. That's scary!

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  14. You made a wonderful list for vacation bible camp research. I love the graphics and the information you put out there!

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  15. These are very important questions! These could be asked of any program that you enroll your chid in!

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  16. Great list!. I am really shocked that they do not have to run checks that is really scary,I would not want my kids to be somewhere with just anyone.

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  17. I never did vacation bible school growing up. my kids wouldn't understand what that even was.

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  18. These are really important questions to ask, especially the first two points. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  19. These are great reminders! Sometimes we're so quick to jump on a free thing...when we really need to do the research

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  20. I always sent my kids to VBS in my own church. I knew all the belief systems and what they'd be teaching them, so I felt comfortable.

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  21. I loved Vacation Bible School when I was little. When we have kid's we'll be sending them to the church we grew up in.

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  22. Those are some great questions to ask especially if you attend a bigger church and it's impossible to know everyone personally! I love VBS when I was a kid and my children love it just as much as I did!

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  23. These are some great tips that really can be applied to just about any day camp. Thanks for the info!

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  24. Thanks for the tips. I went when I was younger but never thought about it for my son this summer.

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  25. These are all very great questions to bring up! My mom never sent us to a church camp where it was run by a church that we weren't attending, but I do know several people who do send their kids to camps they aren't familiar with. These are definitely questions one needs to ask before trusting anyone with their child!

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  26. These are great questions! My church does not have VBS, but there are a few around us that do. Kiddo is very interested in learning anything she can. There is one down the road that teaches science, math, reading, writing and such with of course the biblical teachings. Its a week long and its free. My husband is the head cook at a church camp hes been attending since he was her age. Of course, now she goes! Everyone should know what they are getting themselves into, no matter what type of business or organization it is. Chrystal @ YUMeating.com

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  27. These are some great questions to have answered. I never went to camp as a kid so I have no idea what to ask!

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  28. Oh wow, these are great questions. I have never heard of VBS before, but sounds like a great place for those who are interested in going. Love the idea of sharing questions so other families can check to ensure they didn't miss something they should have asked :)

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  29. Great topic. A lot of families just drop their kids off with no questions. I'm looking forward to VBS for my kids this summer.

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  30. Great list of questions to ask before registering your child for VBS. The background check is the one I always ask first.

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  31. Great list of question for VBS or any school really. I'm really adamant about background checks.

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  32. Thankfully we have only had good experiences at vacation bible schools, but these are definitely great things to ask. You can never be too safe.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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