Date: May 12, 2013
We've found that one of the best ways to attract younger (i.e. under 40) singers to our community choir is to offer child care. Usually it's done on a co-op basis, the parents involved sharing the cost among themselves. Often, a teenage offspring of some other member is happy to take the job, so it works out well. The kids can be taken care of in another room of the same church where we rehearse, so if there's some sort of crisis the parent can be within call.
Lately, however, we've encountered churches (or their insurance companies) insisting on background checks or other credentials for child care "providers" operating in their facilities. As if a teenager's going to be molesting a toddler! (Not that it's impossible, but it seems like a really remote risk, and not something a background check's going to reveal anyway.) And we are talking mainly about toddlers and preschoolers (and sometimes babies), since parents of kids in school want them to go to bed earlier so can't have them there through the rehearsal.
This has made the whole process really impractical. Licensed child care practitioners are really expensive, whereas some teenager getting five bucks an hour is reasonable.
Anybody else have experiences with this they'd like to share?