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Day Trips Out With A Pre-school


mps09
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Hi folks,

 

Hope someone can offer some guidance/advice!!

 

My setting is planning a day trip to a farm centre and the plan is that children are taken by a parent/carer so that all the children are accompanied. The staff will be attending and the setting will close for the day.

 

The committee is putting pressure on me to take any children whose parents can't come and for them to be my responsibility - I'm not really happy about this but they can't see why...

 

Any I just being a kill joy?

 

Any views + or - would be very gratefully received!

 

Thank you.

 

:o

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Have you undertaken a risk assessment and identified what adult:child ratio you feel is reasonable? Also, are there lots of younger siblings attending with the parents? There were times when we went on trips and parents didn't come along as they had one or more small tots/babies. To be honest, having a parent with extra children always ended up being more work than not having them. I also always allowed for at least one 'extra' adult who could give help where needed i.e. if a parent needed to go to the toilet!

 

In my experience parents tend not to be overly good at keeping an eye on their children when out on trips so having the staff free to do so is beneficial where possible!

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I think it might help if you could outline your concerns to us more fully. Is it transportation to /from the venue that is at the root of the problem( because we should never transport the children in out own cars), or is it the venue itself?

 

I always walk through each outing in advance and conduct the risk assessment. Then i work out what ratio is required, taking into accont my walkthrough, the ages/stages of the children/ any SEN's etc. To date I have never conducted a trip with all the parents. Staff plus a few select parent helpers is enough.

 

What age are the children?

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We used to take older unaccompanied children but it is a nightmare being responsible for a child you only know in the setting. What they do in a familiar place can be markedly different to how they behave in unfamiliar places. We lost a child ( only about 2 minutes but it felt like a year) so we said never again. We found out later that he often managed to disappear when with parents but we hadn't been warned! This of course was in the olden days before seatbelts/Ofsted and all the other regulations we now have to observe.

Our trips are parent and child only and we clean setting on that day! The children then spend the next week or so telling us all about their trip and we link activities to the things they talk about (Usually farm visit) We do subsidise trip (charge only minimal fee for bus ) and it is very popular.

korkycat

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We prefer a parent/carer to come along, we don't mind siblings too. We are 5 staff and we will take children unaccompanied, however, parent/carer must get them to the venue and pick them up. I would have a maximum of 2 children per member of staff.

 

As already mentioned earlier, parents are not always very good at looking out for their child on outings, but, the child is their responsibility on the outing, so god forbid anything untoward happened, at least the parent would be there. (When I note how much risk assessment goes into us just caring for the children in our setting and outside area, and then watch parents and children as they leave our setting, parents chatting and children running off, sometimes out of our gates, I am appalled)

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Having done trips to the forest school for the last 2 years, we have found that the less parent help we take the better

we work ona ratio of 1: 5 our children range between 2.5 and 4.5 years

 

you really are not being inclusive if children are not allowed to come if not accompanied, not all parents would be able to and that is not the fault of the child.

 

Be brave and as mentioned do your risk assessment

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Having done trips to the forest school for the last 2 years, we have found that the less parent help we take the better

we work ona ratio of 1: 5 our children range between 2.5 and 4.5 years

 

you really are not being inclusive if children are not allowed to come if not accompanied, not all parents would be able to and that is not the fault of the child.

 

Be brave and as mentioned do your risk assessment

 

I can completely see how this would work out! Parents tend to have their own ideas of where they want to go, plus you have the problem of parents who just cave in to their children's unreasonable demands/wander off/don't tell you they are popping to the toilet with their child etc. I'd say the parents could potentially be more problematic than the children!

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Thanks for all your replies... I guess I feel that this isn't a pre-school trip as such in that staff are not organising it.

 

The committee have decided that they would like a day out as a treat - no objectives other than to explore and have fun! It is not something that the pre-school are arranging and in fact the supervisor won't be able to go as she has other work committments. So it is just a group outing where everyone will do their own thing, meet for lunch and have a lovely day out.

 

On that basis, myself and the 1 other member of staff won't have a 'role' to play really, the parents will even be asked to make their own way there!

 

So I guess on that basis I think it is then unfair to turn round and ask me to be responsible for children! We are not asking for 'parent helpers' we are saying that children need to be taken there by an adult - this is a family event.

 

If the staff had decided to plan a trip then yes we would a risk assessment, ensure 1:2 ratios, etc and I wouldn't have a problem.

 

I feel a bit agrieved that the committee have suggested a day out to Legoland or somewhere similar and that I should have no choice but to be responsible for a few unaccompanied children, especially when initially they said they didn't mind whether the staff came or not. Pre-school are even going to pay - so there won't be a financial exclusion....

 

Perhaps I am being a little inflexible. :o

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you still charging children for a session and or claiming funded money ? if so then are all children not in your care and not parents, ultimately you are resposible and i think that every thing should be in place including risk assessments becuase if anything goes wrong then they will be down on you

 

and also you have a duty of care to the children in your care and to you staff who i presume are going and being paid ?

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you still charging children for a session and or claiming funded money ? if so then are all children not in your care and not parents, ultimately you are resposible and i think that every thing should be in place including risk assessments becuase if anything goes wrong then they will be down on you

 

and also you have a duty of care to the children in your care and to you staff who i presume are going and being paid ?

 

 

Sue makes a good point. If you are still claiming funding for the session and paying the staff then really the children are partly your responsibility. Also what are those children who can't come going to do? If you are claiming funding for their session then surely you'll have to open the pre school as well in order to cater for them since you can't just take one of their funded sessions away from them. Also it's highly inconvenient for the poor parents who might work and now have to find alternative childcare for the day! From what you have said it sounds to me like there is little point in you being on the trip anyway and that it actually might be better from a legal and convenience point of view if you were to just stay at the setting and open up as usual.

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I'm beginning to think outings are not worth the bother! If we can't trust parents to look after their own children, if we can't trust staff to look after themselves, if we can't really make the decision to close pre-school without worrying about taking the funding still the pressure of responsiblity on one person's head (in my case anyway) is too much.

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In the interests of promoting our "working in partnership with parents" bit :o we do parent/carer accompanied outings twice a year. When people come to look around we tell them that this is what we do so they can't say they weren't warned and try to make it a fun day out. Siblings usually can come too as can other friends and family.

 

 

Think of us on Wednesday - we are doing a whole group outing to the beach !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xD there will be just over 80 of us in total including staff who come too to facilitate on the day and help out where needed. Have 2 sets of twins and 3 SEN so those families will be first in the queue for the staff support.

 

Parent's were balloted on choice of venue for our spring outing this year and all but four families are coming.

 

I know they won't want to do hours on the beach - it is February after all and there's only so much outdoors anyone can take so we're doing a bit of beach and maybe a walk on the pier, then a bit of culture to local museum, a bit more beach and then tea and chips to warm up.

 

After that optional (extra cost involved) visit to local aquarium.

 

Hoping all goes well - have done risk assessment - there are loads - its a beach after all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Parents are all up for it and looking forward to it.

 

It definately pays to be mad to do this job :(

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Going to the beach was one of our best outings a few years ago. We had the coach, we went to an indoor/outdoor play centre, lunch on the beach, a walk on the pier and back for 3pm., however, it was in July!!!

 

Surely spring doesn't officially begin until March - this is really your winter outing!

 

Have a great day - hope the weather is kind to you, it has been snowing all day here in West Kent, but at least it hasn't laid.

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Now you're just being pedantic - Spring as in Spring term!!!!

 

We have had a couple of v. watery snowflakes in deepest Dorset - doesn't really snow much here but oh boy is the wind cold - especially on the seafront :oxD

 

Hopefully all will go well - thanks for the good wishes.

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outings out are great, we dont go any where as fancy, we go to the library and are now arranging a vivit to local land marks and to the nearby sikh temple

 

we take small groups which the children find more beneficial than large groups

 

we go every 3 weeks to the forest, fantastic experience for all, really promotes CLL and all children have benefitted from this

 

so go for it

 

PS we have found through trial and error that the children get more out of a visit with less adults (still abibidng by our adult/child ratio)

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Our outings are always done on the basis that:

 

Parents are invited along with siblings and are asked to transport, (this often means a couple of parents doubling up with their own children.)

Staff are invited and paid, so are there to help with any unaccompanied children and any other parents who need help ie those with younger siblings. (They usually get a lift with one of the parents)

Pre-school children's entrance fees are paid for by the committee, adults and any others are paid for by the families.

 

We usually do a fundraiser early summer which we say will be going towards a summer trip and the last two we have been able to hire the coach as well so no one has to drive and we hope this adds to the experience of a special summer outing. :o

 

We had a Christmas trip this year which worked on the same basis, (except no coach) and the local primary school reception class joined us and then came back for a joint Christmas party. That was great fun!

 

Rachel

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