The Step-by-Step Field Trip Preparation Guide

Children on a field trip; field trip preparation guide.

Going on a field trip can be a rewarding adventure that breaks up the monotony of a daily routine.

Plus, children love field trips: it gets them out of their chairs and into the wonderful world beyond. You can take them somewhere educational like a museum or fun like a chocolate factory. Wherever you go, having a plan in place can make the trip more enjoyable. If you’d like your outing to be a success, our step-by-step field trip preparation guide and cloud software solution can help.

Keep Track of All Permission Slips

As an administrator, you know that much work goes into planning a field trip. To begin, your staff needs to communicate with the parents and relay important information like the date of the trip and the estimated time of arrival/departure. You’ll also need to provide information about the venue and whether parents must pay for admission fees.

Finally, you’ll need to obtain permission from your children’s parents/guardians before you embark on a trip. Traditionally, this involves communicating with students that they’ll need to get permission slips signed. On the day of the trip, you’ll need to keep track of permission slips to confirm that parents are on board with their children leaving the center for another location.  

The Prime Child Care platform has a Parent Access Portal and mobile app. You can use the portal to upload documents the parents can access and sign. This helps streamline your communications with the pertinent parties. Essentially, you can use the portal to alert parents about upcoming trips, get their signatures, and verify their approvals within the platform itself. 

Verify Emergency Contact Information Before You Leave

While the majority of field trips occur without incident, you’ll still want to prepare for unforeseen emergencies. For example, a child sustains a mild injury from a fall and you need to contact his parents or guardians. If they’re not available for some reason, you may need to reach out to an emergency contact. There are three things you can do prior to a field trip to ensure that you have the phone numbers you need: Verify that every child has an emergency contact listed Confirm that you have the parent’s updated contact information Confirm with the parents that the emergency contact information is valid You can use the Parent Access portal and mobile app to do all of the above. Our software system can also store the children’s enrollment information. The data will be easily accessible, so you can pull it up at a moment’s notice during the trip.

Make Sure All Fees are Paid in Advance

Are you going to a museum or aquarium? If so, you’ll need to account for admission fees. You can either pay the fees yourself or ask parents/ guardians to pay prior to the trip. That said, making such requests can be a challenge if you don’t have a tool to facilitate timely communication across the board. However, there’s a solution to make this process as seamless as possible.  The Prime Child Care platform’s electronic payment processing capability provides parents multiple secure payment options for any expenses that may arise as a result of the trip. They can make traditional credit card payments as well as mobile wallet and NFC payments (via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay) on the platform.

Load up the Bus

Another step in your planning framework will involve getting the children on the bus. This is where you’ll want to take a headcount of your group. Prime Child Care’s software platform has childcare check-in and attendance capabilities so you can get a live headcount display. This lets you monitor your group throughout your trip. One of the most pressing concerns when leaving your facility is ensuring the safety of every child. Our platform takes the stress out of accounting for everyone. You’ll be able to manage and track your center’s rosters so you have an updated list of students, teachers, and chaperones going on the trip.  To further ensure the safety of your group, you could also ask everyone to put on T-shirts with your daycare’s name emblazoned across the front. Ideally, you would remind parents about dressing their children in the appropriate T-shirts prior to the trip.

Stay Aware of Dietary Requirements

When you leave your facility for the day, your children may end up eating lunch at a restaurant. And, even if your students bring packed lunches, you’ll still need to maintain awareness of everyone’s dietary requirements. Essentially, you’ll need to have food allergy information ready at a moment’s notice. After all, you don’t want to pack or order an item a child may be allergic to. 

By using Prime Child Care’s platform, you can safely store all vital dietary information — including allergies as well as medication information. That way, you’ll be able to review everyone’s data to ensure that adequate care is taken when packing lunches or ordering meals.

Return Home and Provide Updates on All the Fun

Once the trip is at an end, you can use the platform’s roster and check-in/attendance feature to take a headcount. Then, you can head back to your facility with the confidence that all the children are accounted for. Another great feature of the Prime Child Care platform is the ability to upload photos or reports of any achievements so the children’s parents can see them. Did your group see the massive dinosaur bones on display at the museum? Take pictures, and upload them to the platform. And, if your group went to a family restaurant for lunch, take pictures of everyone enjoying their meals. Parents will appreciate seeing all the fun their children had during the trip. 

A Field Trip Preparation Guide Is Only as Good as the Planning Tool You Use

Planning a field trip for your childcare center can seem like a daunting task. And, no matter how good a field trip preparation guide is, you still need the right tools to manage the process efficiently and effectively. Prime Child Care’s cloud-based, easy-to-use software offers you the capabilities you need to be successful. It will help you stay organized and allow you to focus your energy on ensuring the kids have a truly enriching and memorable experience.  If you’d like to hear more about how Prime Child Care can help you run your childcare center more effectively, contact us today!
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