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Daycare Field Trips: What Parents Should Know

Daycare Field Trips: What Parents Should Know

Most working parents have to resort to some form of child care to keep up with our careers. Not only do we have to feel comfortable leaving our child with another person, our child's safety is of utmost concern. Some parents also look for an environment which is enriching for their child. Many daycare facilities offer enrichment, including field trips to local points of interest.

Some careerists live close to relatives who are willing to care for their child while they are at work. Sometimes this arrangement works best for the child who has had his immune system compromised and must remain in familiar surroundings. Other options include a pre-school program or daycare center.

In checking out daycare centers, most parents look for cleanliness, the ratio between kids and staff members, safety measures, and if the center offers any enrichment programs, such as learning a foreign language. Many day cares even offer state of the art capabilities for parents to check in online and see their child on camera.

Get On the Bus

Many centers offer daycare field trips as part of their curriculum. They go to the local museums or zoos. Other points of interest might include special shows or performances. Field trips tend to be an exciting segue from the daily routine for the children and are highly anticipated. It's a nerve-racking scenario for the parents.

With stories of children being left forgotten on buses in the news, how can parents feel comfortable about allowing their children to participate in these day care field trips? Auger & Auger, a personal injury law firm states on their website that, "A person who broke a safety rule or who was unreasonably careless can be considered negligent and in breach of a legal duty." A child's protection from such negligence is a parent's primary concern.

In one incident recently, a 2-year-old child was found crying and by herself on a cold and empty bus for over four hours. No charges were filed because the authorities deemed it an accident. There might not have been any intended malice, but how many parents would accept "accidents happen" as a reasonable excuse for their child being left unattended in an empty vehicle? In this one instance, the 2-year-old could have been injured from exposure to cold or dehydration.

Do your homework as a parent so you don't disappoint your children. Follow these steps to ensure a safe field trip. Ask the daycare the following questions:

1) How many children are scheduled to go and how many caretakers will there be? Make sure you are comfortable with the ratio and that it seems reasonable for those amount of caretakers to be taking care of that number of children effectively.

2) Has anyone gone over safety measures with the children? Will they have name tags? Or matching shirts that will make them easily recognizable? Are they to walk in pairs? Are they to speak to strangers? What are they supposed to do if they get separated from the group?

3) How long will the daycare field trip last? Depending on the ages of the children, an outing during meal times or nap times is not ideal. Also, the younger children might tire easily on too long trips. Remember that the attention span of a toddler is vastly different from that of a 5-year-old.

4) Check the credentials of the drivers. Are they with a reputable service? What is the safety record of the bus company?

5) Emergency procedures. Are there staff members who know CPR? Will there be a first aid kit on the bus? Has the daycare discussed the plan of action to be taken in case any children need urgent care or hospitalization?

If you check to make sure that the daycare center has protocols in place for your child's safety, then you can feel more comfortable about letting your child participate in all the various outings and day care field trips that the daycare offers. After all, you have already entrusted the day to day care of your child to them. Be confident that who you chose for your child's daily care will also perform responsibly when they have to go off site.

Debbie Nguyen is a blogger who enjoys writing about the well being of children.

Photo Credit: We would like to thank Debbie Nguyen for sharing this information about daycare field trips.



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