There are lots of factors in making a guest family feel welcome. Good parking helps. Easy-to-read signage helps. Welcome packets help.
But there is one key that I believe is the most important. It's the people who volunteer on your guest services team. This includes your greeters, check-in helpers and anyone else who has contact with new families in the first few minutes.
The "welcome center" is not signs or brochures or flat screen tv's with cool graphics...it's people.
Pick the right people to welcome new families. Who is the right person? These two pictures say it in a nutshell.
If you have someone on your guest services team who acts like the person on the left...move them! They will undo everything you're trying to do to make new families feel welcome.
Spend time training the right people. Once you get the right people on your welcome team, pour into them. Teach them what to say...what not to say...how to make people feel comfortable...what to do in certain situations, etc.
Do you want your children's ministry to be known as a friendly, welcoming place? It will happen when you have friendly people greeting families.