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Playgroup Trip ?


fimbo
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ok - the commitee asked us a few weeks ago about a christmas trip. they told us we would not be paid, and they would not be organising a mini bus -and would ask parents to transport children ( both their own children plus any others ).

we had concerns regarding this - firstly staff do not want to give up their day off to come on the trip unpaid, we are not happy about children being transported by parents (especially if its not their own parent , and its quite a distance...approx 35 miles) and the playgroup funds are to be used to pay for the tickets.

 

so, we left it at that.

 

today a poster went up in the entrance hall , asking parents to indicate if their child will be going on the trip, and if the parent will be attending.

 

where do we stand, what if (god forbid) something went wrong ?

the parents are going to assume its a playgroup organised trip, risk assesed, insured, first aid trained and with members of staff.

what happens if a child wants to go -but the parent cant go ? who would then be responsible for the child ?

we are constantly being told we have no money -how can playgroup afford to pay for it ?

 

is this something that happens in other settings ?

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I think you are right to be concerned...

 

Committee are obviously not listening to you so I would put my concerns in writing, and in my case I would state that the staff will not be attending, they probably already do enough unpaid without this added to it. I would also ask them to make it very clear to parents that staff are not attending and that it is being organised by the committee..

 

I am one to step up and make a stand if need be.. so it may not be how you would deal with it.. or others, but they really do need to be made very aware of the feelings of the staff and in writing they cannot ignore the concerns..

 

Perhaps add a list of things you are concerned about and ask how they plan to cover them.. include insurance, unaccompanied children, insurance for cars doing the transport as general car insurance will not cover them and if there was an accident they would have no cover at all.. first aid ( but that is not always an issue depending on the venue as they would have their own first aiders to deal with anything ) and anything else you can think of.

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We did a summer trip and used parent's cars to transport children as a bus was too expensive. However, all the parents transporting were committee members so were CRB checked and all had business class insurance (one had to add this but it didn't cost anything.) Parents all agreed to this in writing as well. Staff transporting had mileage costs paid.

 

The big difference with our trip was that staff were happy to go on the trip with the children and were all paid. Some parents could not attend, and it's unfair to exclude those children I think - they obviously need supervising. Staff and committee members had 2 children to supervise each, often their own. I also visited the place first and risk assessed, for my own peace of mind.

 

I would be furious if my committee did anything like this, and you need to let them know how you feel in no uncertain terms! :o

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If the staff arent going to be paid, just tell the committee you hope they have a lovely time and to bring back some photos. :o

If you're there they are going to assume all the things you said, insurance etc. They will presume you are going to look after the children while they chat and wander around. I suppose if its own transport you have to use yours too, thats an expense you dont need if you're not getting paid.

I wouldnt do it and I wouldnt expect our staff to do it either.

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It has taken me a long time to respond, so I'm sorry if I've repeated what everyone else has said in the meantime!

 

Here is what we did for trips. We never went without parents, but would offer two alternatives for those who couldn't or didn't want to attend. First, they could ask another parent to take their child and be responsible for them all day. Secondly, a named member of staff would take responsibility for them and we would ask the parent to sign a form to say that they were happy for the child to travel in a staff member's car, and the setting would sign this form to say that the driver's insurance, MOT and driving licence had all been seen and were current. I would make it clear that any arrangement entered into with another parent was between them and the nursery wouldn't be responsible for their child during the trip.

 

I would pay staff to come along on the trip, even if it wasn't their normal working day and they weren't needed to supervise a child. I would generally make it clear that I would pay them for their normal session and so they would then decide whether to go home at that time or stay and enjoy the day. Obviously if they were supervising a child then I would pay them for the duration.

 

If I was a member of your staff team I would want to clarify what my role would be during the day. If I wasn't going to be supernumerary then I would expect to be paid. If I wasn't being paid then I would expect to be able to make my own decision as to whether to go or not.

 

Parents will need to be clear who is responsible for their child's safety and welfare during the trip. If it is being run during session time and parents are not expected to attend they might be expecting that staff are there to supervise and if this is not the case then the committee needs to make this clear so that parents can make an informed choice. Unless this is made clear, you're probably right that parents will assume it is a playgroup organised trip and may expect that certain safeguards and procedures are in place.

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My goodness me, words fail me. honestly I cannot believe the sheer gall of some people . How dare they assume that you will do all this and unpaid. Actually like Devondaisy I would be livid if my committee went ahead and arranged all this behind my back with or without pay. Although not paying just makes it even more of a cheek.

I wonder how many of them would work on a Saturday for no pay?

I would do exactly as others have suggested, either they let you organise as needed and they pay staff or you make it quiet clear to them and parent this is a parent run outing and not a preschool one.

 

If you are allowing children that are in your care to ride in parents/staff cars please be careful and make sure that the cars are not only insured (for business cover) but fully taxed,mot & road worthy. You really need to document that you have seen proof of all this as well.

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phew.....im glad im not going mad, when you constantly get ignored and 'fobbed off' you kind of think you are slowly loosing it lol !!

When they raised the subject of the trip -they told us they wanted us to come without pay -and we would be expected to do the same duties as if we were paid +we have had so much hassle, morale is so low -we already do so much without pay, we said we would not come if we were not paid (plus we would be expected to use our own cars, and transport children)

 

the trip is organised for a day that is not actually a session day - we are only open 4 days a week, but i think we need to make it clear this is not a playgroup trip

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There are issues around taking children from your playgroup in your own car because you need to have business insurance rather than social, domestic and commuting. I'm assuming that transporting children is not in your job description, and certainly I don't think the committee can make you do this. When morale is as low as you say, I think the committee are skating on very thin ice by trying to make you work on your day off for no pay. They're lucky they don't have a riot on their hands!

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probably time for you all to make a stand...

 

as Maz said you cannot use your cars without business insurance.. ( with many companies it is free but I would say they had to pay the cost, and admin time for sorting it out)

 

they cannot make you work unpaid.. and particularly on a day off.. definitely a no go for me.. it would be a riot.. time to get the staff together, explain you are willing to stand for them and give the committee the news that you will not be doing it..

 

I am a bit tell as it is.. and I would tell parents as well.. stir up the hornets nest and see what happens.. they cannot sack you for working without pay.. .

 

it makes me so angry that people really do not think about their actions and take others for granted..

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Oh my what a cheek. I have never heard of such a total disregard for staff members. No wonder staff morale is at an all time low.

Okay so in my letter that i would certainly send to them are:

Have they fully understood the implications in having such a trip without the staffs backing.

If staff were being told they had to come and it was their day off you cannot demand they attend and definetly not without being paid.

If it is a social event being booked outside of hours then this must be made clear to all parent/carers and they need to get consent in writing.

Vehicle Insurance must be for business use if they are treating it as a Pre-school trip, with proof of tax, mot etc.

Are appropriate car seats in all the vehicles to be used.

Although their are generally first aiders at most destinations who would be responsible for this during transportation of the children to the proposed venue.

Have they considered any issues with regard to children with additional needs, allergies etc.

Who would risk assess this event.

How many children are possibly going? have adult/child ratios even been considered.

Who would be responsible for emergency contact details etc.

Do the parent/carers know this is not a pre-school event and in such case is probably not covered under your liability insurance.

The list is endless and i certainly would refuse to take part if i was a staff member too.

Yuk yuk yuk.

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Hi fimbo - I have no experience of committees so I'm always wary about responding to any posts like yours - but had to break my own rule here.......think I have read it all now :o what an unbelievable cheek - for what it's worth I'm right behind you! xD

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lol !!! i am writing a letter this morning, and will be presenting it to a commitee member this afternoon. trouble is its the staff who will be seen as the 'big bad wolves' as i know the commitee will blame us (and will let the parents know) if the trip doesnt go ahead.

 

tesco is looking more and more appealing....little bit of shelf stacking seems a welcome relief !!!

 

right off to work i go, thank god for the children -they make my job worthwhile.

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Question is, bad wolves or not, it is the safety of the children that is the important issue.

 

I also ask if parents know you are being asked to do this unpaid.. and that all the safety issues are not covered.. they need to be aware why it is not going ahead is not because you are being difficult but that the organisation and child safety is not being correctly addressed..

 

I think it totally unfair that they have put you in the middle of this... they could so easily have arranged a trip like this without including or expecting staff to work at all.. I have done it.. and it can work... if correctly organised and thought out..

 

Do you have a 'tame' parent who you could 'leak' your issues to and get her to begin asking the committee a few of the questions that need to be addressed. or who would be able to chat to others and let them know staff issues with it..must admit I did this a couple of times, chatted with a parent about an issue to get our side out to the parents..was the only way I could think of doing it wothout making it seem tit for tat type thing..

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You mustn't think of yourselves as the bad guys in this. The trip can still go ahead. Its up to the committee and parents to say 'hey, lets all meet at Lapland on the day playgroup is shut, give the children a treat'. You dont have to be involved at all.

I'm still flabbergasted that they could think you would want to organise all this for no pay. Put a poster up next to the original one pointing out this is not a playgroup trip and and staff will not be attending, any questions can be directed to the committee who will be able to reassure them regarding H&S, first aid, insurance etc.

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Hi you are definetly not the big bad wolves.

Good idea from Rea with regard to it being a treat for the children outside of pre-schools hours with a poster stating such.

Then it would be up to parents to choose whether to go or not.

Just out of interest are the pre-school funds paying for children and all the adults proposing to go?.

Yes i have also organised events both at pre-school and our local school which are out of hours, but anyone wishing to attend had to have their own responsible adult and was purely a separate activity.

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