Field trips offers extending learning opportunities that enable the enhancement of children's development. Field trips are simply lessons and extensions of classroom instruction connected to the outside world. It also brings excitement and enjoyment to teaching and learning. Children can benefit greatly from field trips in all their domains such as social and emotional, language, and cognitive skills. When field trips are purposefully planned and executed it can bring many benefits to the classroom as a whole, a few are:
Practice of manners and safety skills.
Provides instruction in a different format.
Encourages mental connections between academic lessons and real world.
Strengthens relationships and friendships.
Developments language and communication skills.
Understands responsibility and following directions.
If you live in Florida, it is vital that you follow and adhere to rules and regulations that governs childcare. The Department of Children and Families is the governing body that creates and enforces law and regulations for child care centers and family child care homes. There are five things we must maintain to be in compliance with their requirements of field trips and record keeping. These five items are part of our DCF inspection and must be accessible when asked for it.
1. You must inform you parents of a field trip in advance. It is best practice to provide the information in different forms such as verbally during drop off or pick up, a monthly calendar, or notes sent home with each child. You want to be sure to tell each parent in advance to avoid confusion.
2. The announcement of the field trip information in a conspicuous location. This is best done with a flyer posted on the door where parents enter or posted on the parent board. This should include the date and times of the field trip, location of the field, manner of transportation, and cost.
3. Every parent must sign a field trip form to approve and allow their child to be taken off the school grounds. If a child doesn't have a permission slip they should not be allowed to leave the school grounds without written consent of the parents or guardian. The field trip form is a legal document and is necessary to protect the school, staff, and students. It is also a release for the child to leave the school grounds with the school staff under the permission of the parent.
4. All field trip forms should be kept on file for 12 months from the date of the field trip. It is vital that all records are kept on file for 1 year. You will need all your field trip forms if you are audited by DCF. You can keep these files as a hard copy or digitally.
5. Be sure to collect the three important sets of information from each family. The three sets of information that should be collected from each family every single field trip is: 1-Contact Information, 2-Emergency Medical Consent, and 3-Emergency Care Plans. Your field trip forms should have space for all this information to be added. You should ask about allergies, in the event of an emergency which hospital should the child be transported to, what are the emergency contact numbers, and other vital information.
The field trip form is not the only form DCF will look for. They will also look for your transportation log. If you purchase our field trip bundle you will receive editable forms for all three documents:
-Field Trip Form
Use this link to view our Field Trip Video:
Field Trips are a great way to take learning to a new level and promote higher education. A
few field trip ideas you can consider are:
-Visiting a farm, aquarium, or zoo
-Visiting a fire station, police station, doctor office, dentist office, or post office
-Take a walk around the community
-Take a ride on a public bus, train, or metro rail
-Go on a virtual field trip to a far away place.
If you need more field trip ideas or suggestions be sure to check out our Early Childhood Field Trip Guide being released May 22, 2020. In this guide we will offer contact for different field trip places, virtual field trip sites, a full guide on how to have a safe and productive field trip, a checklist of the items you need for each field trip and forms you need to remain in compliance.