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Old 05-28-2016, 04:24 PM
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Default Public Transportation

Has anyone ever used public transportation to take their dcks on field trips? I have recently switched to preschool only and would like to take them to the library, children's museum, etc. from time to time but don't want the liability of transporting them in my car (or the hassle of taking car seats in and out.) There is a city bus stop just a block from my house and kids under 5 ride free so I thought I might try it out. Opinions?
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:35 PM
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It sounds like it could be a lot of fun and a great experience for the kids. Before I did it, though, I'd check with licensing to see what my liability would be if the bus was involved in an accident and the kids got hurt. I'd be afraid that someone could say I was still liable because I made the decision to transport children in my care in a vehicle that had no seat belts or car seats.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:45 AM
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Yes, that's what I was worried about. I'm not licensed but am going to try to get hold of someone who might know.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:49 AM
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I do! Not as much as I used to but we use the city buses here to get places because I don't have enough seats in my vehicle and honestly it's way easier. No carseats, no folding up the stroller for the little ones and fitting it in the vehicle, no having to up with awful drivers. The downside for me is the fixed routes sometimes not going to where we want to go or taking several transfers to get there and then still having to walk more. Also, having to be at the bus stop at a certain time. Kids are so unpredictable and I end up feeling like a drill sergeant to make sure we don't miss the bus.

That said, I get a copy of the bus liability policy every year for my records. I also review with the kids how we tell the bus we want to ride, how we sit in our seats, how we tell the driver we want to get off the bus and we try to take practice rides when new children join us (the route nearest my house is an out and back so we can get on, ride the loop and get off without much hassle.

The bus has helped us get around a lot in the past 10 years but one big lesson the kids have learned is about physics. If they don't follow my rules that their backs have to touch the seat then they get to experience centripetal force. I've only ever had 1 that actually fell but his mom agreed that at 4 years old he should have listened the many times he was told to sit back.

As for licensing, here they only care that we have a permission slip and use of the bus is included in our transportation policy. It was the environmental rating scale folks who cared anything more and even they just suggested that since I was by myself that all the children sit in the same section of the bus. (Funny story about that one is that the time they showed up to do an unannounced observation of my program was a field trip day and one observer came with us while the other drove to the field trip. The sitting separated thing was the only thing they could come up with wrong with the whole thing. The super funny was that the bus was empty! The route we used was not a high ridership route and the bus was typically empty during that time of day but it was a good suggestion since I can't be in both places at the same time.)
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyhun77 View Post

As for licensing, here they only care that we have a permission slip and use of the bus is included in our transportation policy.
Here in IL the standard consents form DCFS makes us use with the parents only covers my vehicle. Double check your licensing- they may have one specifically for public transportation. If they don't ( I can't remember) check with local R&R. They might have a sample one in their provider resources.
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