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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Field trip blues

    Rather than bore you with the details of why I no longer want to do field trips, the main concern is that I don't want to do field trips anymore. I'm willing to do the occasional field trip or maybe once a month, nothing like the 1 - 3 field trips per week that I used to do. The concern is that my daycare families seem to really want field trips, they have been complaining for 5 months about the lack of field trips.

    I don't go on field trips with my daycare if:
    1) I have more than 1 non-walker
    2) a child under 22 lbs
    3) don't have an assistant or another caregiver meeting us
    4) a child who runs or misbehaves when we are out

    Right now, I have a child that is under 22lbs and no assistant. My families were pre-warned Oct last year that there would be no field trips this past summer, or if I did find an assistant that the cost would increase to cover the cost of the assistants.

    Despite that my families had the 8 - 9 month warning in the calendar, numerous blogs, and I spoke to each family at least once, I am still being bugged about field trips. I'm thinking it might be time to do something a little more formal but hopefully not rock the boat.

    I'm thinking about doing a formal field trip policy. A friend has suggested that I just keep reminding parents that I am not able to travel without a huge headache and just not let it bother me.

    Thanks Rhonda aka : exhausted caregiver with a huge headache

  2. #2
    Shy
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    Oh, I should add that field trips are also getting to expensive. My field trips fees need to cover the admission of everyone that includes myself and my assistant, the cost of the children, and gas. Plus if we eat at location, the extra costs of eating out. By the time I figure out the actual fees, I then feel bad for all the charges and sometimes just help the parents, some field trips I was contributing $30 plus gas.

  3. #3
    Expansive...
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    I don't know how some of you do it with the field trips. I for one am not a fan of them at all. Just way too stressful, and sometimes given the ages of the children, unsafe. Most of my dc families are with me BECAUSE I don't do field trips... I think your daycare families are just going to have to " deal" with it. Yes I would do something a little more formal telling them that moving forward you are not doing/ reducing the amount of field trips for X reason.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I do not leave my property. I tell parents at the Interview that if they are looking for a caregiver that travels this is not the daycare for them. I have never as of yet had anybody say "ok thanks for your time then" in fact all of the people I have interviewed in the last four years has said "I'm not Interested in my child traveling all over the place so that fine with me"
    I would post a note saying "due to the Increase in gas prices as well as the current age of children enrolled and the absence of an assistant we will no longer be doing field trips"

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    Kinda comes across as a group of lazy parents expecting you to do even the fun stuff with their kids. If they want their kids at cosmic adventure they can take them.

    With the loss of JK kids the age mix for sure has gotten younger and it is no longer a case of letting a baby tag along with the bigger group - there are no bigger ones any more.

    Also with the ELECT concept what about using that to persuade them that a change of focus is needed away from things you plan to things you facilitate so you will be setting up the play space for their learning and doing less outings as a result.

    Also never absorb any of the costs - make them cough up the total amount of money.

    What happens if you simply stop all outings and when they whine just tell them to take their kids there themselves on their own time and then leave it at that. Would they leave in a huff but come back the next day even if their nose is out of joint for awhile or would they actually leave and never come back?

    I am clear right up front we do not do outings and parents choose me because of that and the others move on to someone else.

  6. #6
    Shy
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    I know that my families have always enjoyed me doing the field trips with the children and I think that they have come to assume it was a regular part of programming and no longer a special part of programming based on ages and stages of the children in care.

    YES, I do have families that seem to expect me to do it all! And yes, I have often wondered why parents didn't do more of the 'field trips' on their time. Another part that upsets me is I have parents that tell me their children are too young to do certain field trips because they couldn't handle their 1 (or 2) on the trip. Yet, these same families expect me to do the trip with 5 children.

    I don't think my daycare families are going to let the field trip issue go. It's been 4 almost 5 months and they are still complaining that I don't have any booked. Although, my families shouldn't be with me just because I do field trips, I do think the lack of field trips would be an easy excuse for all families to go their separate ways. I have one family moving soon and my daycare will be an inconvenience for them but they have told me they will be staying; my one family could be going on mat leave soon, they have said they were going to be staying; my one family I'm never sure whether they are coming or going; and my other family the mommy is a stay at home mommy. I believe that if the families are as upset as they seem to be about the lack of field trips, yes, I could be out of all my kids very quickly. All my families are extremely close, which is natural when you have had the same families for so long. Thus the reason I'm trying not to rock the boat. I admit I could just be paranoid, because its hard to find children right now and I know the families have left for less.

    I agree that I should no longer absorb the cost of field trips. I didn't realize that until I found myself really upset when I took my kids to the movies and the parents refused to pay for my admittance.

    Playfelt you also know the other reason is I don't know where life is taking me and I just want to keep things status quo until I know what is happening. Each day retirement looks so much better but then the reality of bills kick in

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    For sure let parents know that one of the reasons for cancelling field trips is due to costs and that costs include all costs including your admittance or those of a helper since you would not normally incur any of those expenses if you did not go.

  8. #8
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    I don't do field trips due to the extra liability. No way am I driving with my daycare. However we venture out to 4 different parks, nature trails and the beach all within walking distance to my house. I am so blessed to be able to have this steps away from my doorstep.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    My field trips are 3-4 times a week, but they don't cost me anything except bus tickets sometimes, but I write off my bus tickets on my taxes as a daycare cost. We go to the nearest library one morning a week, then we have a splashpad and 4 different parks that we frequent to give us variety. Can you let your daycare families know that going to the park is considered a field trip? I don't take the children any place that costs me money and my clients are ok with that.

    I don't take any chances with the children's safety so I have the youngest 2 children in my double stroller but the 3 walkers (age 2 & up) are in the backpacks with the ropes attached to my wrists. ($20 at Walmart and similar places, also a tax writeoff) Our roads are too busy so I would never consider just letting the children hold onto the stroller without being attached to me.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  11. #10
    Euphoric !
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    What about having the parents pay for some in-daycare programs like Kindermusik or something along that line? I have done a couple of these type of programs and parents appreciate me doing this, even though they each pay for their own child. You can do music programs, I have even been in contact with a yoga instructor who will come into the daycare...maybe there are other types of programs as well.

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