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Field Trips and Permission Slips

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  • Field Trips and Permission Slips

    My child (3 years old) was taken on a field trip last Thursday to a neighboring town's playground. His class was transported on a small school bus. I found out about the trip when I picked him up that afternoon. There was no permission slip signed and I was not made aware that he would be leaving their premises for any reason. Last night, I picked him and found out that he went to a movie theater for a movie.. 20 minutes away. I spoke to the owner and was told that because I signed the enrollment form, that gave them permission. My whole point was that I would like knowledge of any future trips - a schedule or agenda - so that I know where he is on any given day. My question is: should they be required to have individual permission slips signed for each trip? Is there any law that says they should be required to do so, or by signing the enrollment form, have I signed a blanket permission slip?
    This is a Pennsylvania daycare center and they are a part of the Keystone STARS program.
    Any information or help would be greatly appreciated.

    - Angry Mama Bear

  • #2
    I've never heard of anything like that. Here you have to have parents sign for each outing.

    In fact, as a home provider, my inspector questioned me taking babies/toddlers for stroller rides and not having a permission slip for each ride. What the heck? I had a blanket one that parents signed that it was okay to take children on a stroller ride/walk around the neighborhood or to a park within walking distance.

    I had to object to that request. I told her that we would just go on the spur of the moment if the weather was especially nice or we just felt like being someplace different or the baby was fussy then a walk helped calm the baby. She agreed to let me do a blanket one with some different wording where I listed possible times we would be out of the house. The thing is I had been using the old blanket form for YEARS and she had never mentioned it before.

    All that rambling to say, they should inform you of the trip and have you sign a permission slip each time. Period. I've never heard of such a thing anywhere but I guess you could check your local regulations.

    Laurel

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    • #3
      Every person I have talked to regarding this has said that they can't believe they don't have individual permission slips for parents to sign. I just can't believe they go anywhere without even telling the parents. Some of the older kids went to a water park and their parents didn't know about it. That's just irresponsible. I have a hard time trusting their judgments now and I've even considered finding new care for my son.

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      • #4
        I'd like to know exactly what it says in their handbook/contract about field trips.

        Does it say they will be taken regularly?

        Does it actually say they have to have an individual permission slip from each parent for each trip?

        If it's a bigger center and the contract or enrollment papers state clearly that they do take regular field trips, I can see them not wanting to do individual ones as parents rarely remember to return them by xx dates and then the center is left having to deal with kids who "technically" can't go and having extra staff on site for those kids etc...

        So the deciding factor is going to be what (exactly) your enrollment/handbook says about this.

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        • #5
          Some big centers have schedules up on their website only in order to cut down on paper being sent home. Maybe you did give permission when signing one of the many sheets during enrollment and then you would need to check in monthly for a schedule of trips posted on the website. It doesn't sound like you have grasped how this center works yet. I would ask them, not us.

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          • #6
            I am not required to do so, but I do have a permission form to take children off premises at my discretion. My state does not require it, but I do this to prevent parents from claiming that they didn't know that trips away from daycare are common. We go to the zoo, local parks, library, etc. I would never ask a parent to sign a slip for every outing-they already get annoyed with all the signatures the state asks them for!

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            • #7
              I gave my permission for him to go on field trips when I signed the enrollment form, but I was never given a schedule letting me know when he would be going on any of the trips. It was just the empty pit feeling in my gut to find out that he had gone anywhere without my knowledge that really threw me. I would have expected something posted or to be told when I dropped him off that morning. There are signs everywhere that it will be PJ day on Friday, but why can't I know that someone is taking him to the movies for the first time?! If he had been in an accident and I got a call.. thinking that he was at daycare the whole day.. I would have lost it. I just remember having to have permission slips signed in school if we were to go anywhere. They're not a large facility, so I just feel like the whole thing was really unorganized.

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              • #8
                I agree with how you are feeling but it does ultimately come down to what you agreed to when you signed the contract. I understand that the daycare is probably using one permission slip to cover all outings and that seems very practical to me. However, as a parent, I would never agree to my child being allowed to go on a field teip without prior knowledge. It does seem odd to me that there was no schedule given, sign posted, teacher mentioning these field trips. I would be very uncomfortable not knowing where my child was at any given time in case of an emergency on your end or theirs.

                I would look over your contract, speak with his teacher and director and make my decision from there. If this were me and they were not willing to inform me of field trips ahead of time I would give my appropriate notice and find another child care. To be clear, I think it is great that they are taking the children on field trips and I am not saying they are doing something wrong and if this was in your contract and agreed upon they certainly are within their rights. However, I personally would be uncomfortable with not knowing where my child was on any given day.

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                • #9
                  If you signed it then you really have no right to be upset. You could speak to the teacher/director and ask for a schedule of activities/field trips in advance. Would you have allowed him to go if you had known or kept him home?

                  Here I am required to have individual forms on the state supplied form. My kids school has ONE blanket form and I often am unaware of a trip unless there is a fee attached or a lunch needed. I dislike the policy and understand your frustration, but as black cat said, they do this so that they don't have to exclude kids and worry about staffing to cover those without returned slips.

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                  • #10
                    The center was wrong to not tell you about the field trip. However, you need to read your parent handbook and contract for any answers. Even though you weren't given a scheduled, one might have been posted near your child's class.

                    In my center, parents of DCKs 4 & up sign a permission slip for field trips once a year. Because I schedule all 4 yr old trips, parents know at least a month in advance and I give a reminder the week before. Ask the Director or your DD's teacher to give you a reasonable amount of notice for all trips. If something WAS posted, it was presumptuous of them to think that you saw it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MamaBear317 View Post
                      I gave my permission for him to go on field trips when I signed the enrollment form, but I was never given a schedule letting me know when he would be going on any of the trips. It was just the empty pit feeling in my gut to find out that he had gone anywhere without my knowledge that really threw me. I would have expected something posted or to be told when I dropped him off that morning. There are signs everywhere that it will be PJ day on Friday, but why can't I know that someone is taking him to the movies for the first time?! If he had been in an accident and I got a call.. thinking that he was at daycare the whole day.. I would have lost it. I just remember having to have permission slips signed in school if we were to go anywhere. They're not a large facility, so I just feel like the whole thing was really unorganized.
                      I had the same type of form you signed, as some of our outings were unscheduled, and the parents initialed their acknowledgement/permission and then signed the contract. I would do my best to ensure parents knew (even if just the morning of) that we planned an outing and when we'd be gone. The thing is, they (your daycare) didn't do ANYTHING without your permission and so it's kind of unfair to be upset with them. You can always suggest that you would like a schedule, or that field-trip forms would be helpful. You never know, a suggestion you make could make a change.

                      Kids' schools sometimes have a top and bottom sheet; Top with info on date/time/location of kids' field trip and bottom for signing permission

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                      • #12
                        I'm a licensed PA center and there is no state regulation saying that a provider needs to give out individual permission slips. There is a form the state requires each parent to sign and there is a signature spot for field trips. You would have had to sign that form in order to enroll your child.

                        However, I completely agree with you that the provider should be making you aware of where your child is going to be during the day! Even though there is no regulation, I give separate slips for outings and make them fully aware of when and where children will be going!!!!

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                        • #13
                          I am a home provider. I have a blanket form with my enrollment packet that must be signed for any and all trips. I also have separate ones if we go on a bigger trip than the park, but if a parent forgot and brought they child I would likely take the child. I also would post the trip in the monthly newsletter, but it is up to the parent to read it.

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