Field Trip Policy & Procedures Policy Number and Last Update
(04.02.06e/04-2011)

Policy

Regular field trips that are age appropriate, fun for children, and that expand the children's understanding of the world will be used as an extension of learning to give children opportunities to explore, be active, and conduct field studies as part of the implementation of the Creative Curriculum.

Procedure

  1. Children under 18 months will not be taken on field trips. However, they can be taken on stroller ride around the center (if area permits it) or short nature walks, for those that are walking. These outings should not regularly replace their daily playground requirement.
  2. Children 18 months to 2-years-old can be taken to a local park, small petting zoo, or another unstructured, simple excursion. Whenever possible, the toddler and preschool classrooms can plan a field trip together (for example: when going to the petting zoo).
  3. Teachers plan bi-weekly field trips for children ages 3 through 5 years, and at least monthly trips for 2-year-olds. Field trips are visits to locations such as zoos, orchards, swimming pools, museums, community businesses (pet store, restaurant, grocery store, etc.) or nature preserves. All excursions should promote children's development and enjoyment. The preschool classrooms can take additional/individual field trips to do field work for their projects.
  4. The Education Coordinator and teachers should know the center' s field trip budget and plan accordingly. If they need more money for a particular field trip, they should discuss the possibility with the delegate director. All field trips should be conducted in the most cost-effective way, but funding should not restrict the caliber of the children's experience. Some trips to parks, nature preserves, etc. are inexpensive, leaving money for costs of train rides, boat trips, swimming pools, museum admissions, etc.
  5. The program will maintain (only) the teacher - child ratio for each group of children. If staff want to invite parent volunteers, they will send a flyer home to all families at least two weeks before the field trip, saying the center needs a certain number of parents to help with the field trip, and that the first to apply will be accepted, with one or two alternates. Older children will not be able to accompany the parents, unfortunately.
  6. All staff and volunteers will ride the bus with the children. The number of children in the bus shall not exceed the capacity rated by the manufacturer. Preschool classrooms must take their field trips together, and the two-year-olds should join them at least once per month. No rooms may take individual trips, unless trip is related to field work.
  7. All staff will comply with the following Illinois Licensing Standards when taking a field trip to a water park:
    • Illinois Day Care Standards - Section 407.290 Swimming and Wading
      1. When children are swimming, supervision shall include at all times, at least one person currently certified as a lifeguard or water safety instructor by the American Red Cross or an equivalent water safety program. If swimming is being done at a pool open to other persons and a lifeguard or lifeguards are provided by the pool or beach operator, an additional lifeguard is not necessary.
      2. All adults counted in the staff/child ratio for swimming, shall receive basic water safety instruction from a person certified as a lifeguard or water safety instructor per subsection (e) of this Section.
      3. The following staff/child ratio shall be maintained when children are swimming, whether at the center or at other public or private swimming pools, lakes, or recreational swimming facilities. A minimum of two adults must be present at all times:
        Infants/Toddlers (under 2 years) NOT PERMITTED BY IMSHS; Children per Each Staff = 1 (0)
        Two-year-olds; Children per Each Staff = 2
        Three-year-olds; Children per Each Staff = 5
        Four-year-olds 8; Children per Each Staff = 8
        Five-year-olds; Children per Each Staff = 8
        School-age children from six to eight years of age (N/A to IMSHS); Children per Each Staff = 10 (0)
        School-age children nine years of age and older (N/A to IMSHS); Children per Each Staff = 15 (0)
      4. In addition to the lifeguard and staff required in subsection (g) of this Section, one adult shall be present to serve as bathroom monitor and provide other general out-of-water supervision.
      5. Whenever swimming is included in the program of the child care center, the program shall be offered as an optional basis with alternative activities available for children who do not participate in swimming.