The first years are critical, a pivotal time when children have powerful curiosity, exuberance for learning, and make strong connections through their experiences. This is also when a child's attitudes, values and perceptions are formed: Do I belong here? , Am I good enough? Our grasp of how children learn has developed sharply in recent years. Nurseries and schools constantly review their approach, but churches frequently employ antiquated practices. Many alienate children because our methods don't meet their needs, and because we don't realise that some of the strongest messages are hidden. We are inoculating our children against church. The intention is to challenge churches about their children's work; to inform children's workers about the latest research; and to provide practical ideas. The authors suggest ways of providing relevant experiences and developing children's creativity, so that children's encounters with church is positive and enriching.