Outing/event letter
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  1. #1
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    Default Outing/event letter

    I'm doing a letter to cover an outing (an activities event held at our local children's centre). It is not a request for permission as such. I cover all outings on the consents form which parents sign on admission to my setting. This means parents have, by default, given consent for all outings, and have to state if they choose to withdraw their child from a particular outing.

    In the past, I've had the occasional problem of a parent wishing to withdraw their child from an outing. This leaves me having to decide whether to cancel an outing (and all the children miss out because of one parent's decision), or going without the child so all the rest can enjoy it. This, of course, means having to explain to a parent that they've chosen to effectively 'not send' their child that day, so they have to make alternative care arrangements and, "no - you aren't getting a refund for that day".

    It's always a pain, but I've so far resisted the urge to simply stop trying to do outings, as I don't see why one fussy/anxious mum should spoil it for everyone else's children - or leave me struggling to pay the even cos they don't want to pay me either. So I thought I'd better make things absolutely clear before anyone decides to pull their lo out - so at least they know the consequences.

    Does the following (which I plan to put into my 'outings notification' letter) cover this situation adequately and politely? I ask because I'm an expert at 'plain speaking' which seems to be very quickly interpreted as "being rude" in this day and age. Just tell me if this is fair or "rude"?

    This event is covered by the consents given by parents on admission to our setting (general consents and permissions form) so there is no requirement for you to provide any further written consent for your child to participate. If you have any specific requests or concerns for your child, please speak with us as soon as possible. Please note that, should you choose to withdraw your child from the event, it is unlikely we would able to provide care on the day. This is because of the need to maintain appropriate adult-to-child ratios and supervision for those attending the event. This will therefore be regarded as the parents withdrawing the child from our care for the day, and no refund of childcare fees will apply. Whilst respecting each parent’s right to choose, it would be unreasonable to cancel an event for the other children on the basis of another parent’s decision. We hope you will understand this policy which is in place to protect everyone’s right of choice, whilst enabling us to offer a variety of activities and events to all.
    I plan to send this home with the lo's this evening, so quick responses would be a huge help.

    Thanks people.

  2. #2
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    Sounds good to me. Not rude just setting it out in black and white so there is no room for 'misunderstanding'

  3. #3
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    reads well to me
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    I don't think your letter is at all rude. It says what it needs to say in a fair & concise way.

    I don't really give me parents a reason for them having to pay if they keep their child at home, or give them the opportunity to object. For longer outings I send a letter home along the lines of:

    I am very pleased to let you know that we have a trip arranged on X date to X place. We will leave at X o'clock, so please make sure all children are here by then. We aim to be home by X o'clock, but if there is any delay I will contact you. Please send your child with X, Y & Z and a maximum of £2 spending money. Lunch and drinks will be provided.
    Should you wish to make alternative arrangements for your child for that day, please let me know by X date. Normal fees will apply.
    As always, please do not hesitate to speak to me if you have any questions.


    When parents first sign up with me I do explain that for longer day trips they do have the option of not sending their child, but that I will still charge. It shouldn't be any surprise to them then when it happens! Of course, I will always listen if there are real reasons why a parent doesn't want their child to go, and I would use my discretion as to whether or not I charged, but I don't tell them that!

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    I think I would add something about that you have risk assessed for all trips/outings and will ensure that the activities are appropriate for the age/stage of development for the child. eg: we went to a country park yesterday with my 18 month old grandson, the park had a Death slide but just because it was there didn't mean I was going to make him go down it as it didn't meet his age/stage of development.

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    Thanks all. Always useful to have some wise heads to run over this sort of thing.

    Good tip, there, Hector's House. I'd covered this elsewhere in my letter, and just put the bit in this post that I was unsure about - but your comments are eminently sensible all the same.

    Mouse, I also feel I should take the line of "never apologise, never explain". Trouble is I'm just too soft. Underneath this hard shell beats a heart of pure lime jelly.....

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  8. #7
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    I have to say I have never yet run into this problem.. I have a permissions one on my contract which says something like 'any outings smurfette deems to be appropriate ' .. I do say to parents when they visit that we are out and about most days.. Toddler groups zoo etc (15 mins down road) and in summer and school hols we pack a picnic and head out and list a couple of possible places. I do feel parents need to trust us and our judgement (though I do think with some parents it's guilt and jealousy cos they are stuck in an office and we are doing fun things which I can understand) but I am included to think one who thinks somewhere is too far or not safe doesn't trust us and the relationship is not gonna work out in the long run.. I tend to just say 'oh we are going to x today' when dropped off but I am a wing it kinda person and hate being tied down so often it's that evening as a fait accompli that I tell them what we did! So many things can happen.. Inappropriate weather, sick child etc that I hate to disappoint.. Once I had organised a trip to the zoo (ok it's not far but a mission to get everyone there!) .. I had arranged to meet my brother and nephew there, take three mindees and my own three and borrow for the day an older ex mindee . One of my dds puked in the night so it was ruined. Wished I hadn't said anything!

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    But letter is spot on by the way!

  10. #9
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    Good letter, l personally wouldn't send a letter, permissions have been signed for all outings and day before l say to parents we are going to the childrens centre tomorrow they are holding a fun/activity day we will leave promptly at x time and be back at x time, if a parent hasn't turned up with no contact at usual dropping off time l will make 1 phone call and say we are leaving, Usual hours will be paid for.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfette View Post
    I have to say I have never yet run into this problem.. I have a permissions one on my contract which says something like 'any outings smurfette deems to be appropriate ' .. I do say to parents when they visit that we are out and about most days.. Toddler groups zoo etc (15 mins down road) and in summer and school hols we pack a picnic and head out and list a couple of possible places. I do feel parents need to trust us and our judgement (though I do think with some parents it's guilt and jealousy cos they are stuck in an office and we are doing fun things which I can understand) but I am included to think one who thinks somewhere is too far or not safe doesn't trust us and the relationship is not gonna work out in the long run.. I tend to just say 'oh we are going to x today' when dropped off but I am a wing it kinda person and hate being tied down so often it's that evening as a fait accompli that I tell them what we did! So many things can happen.. Inappropriate weather, sick child etc that I hate to disappoint.. Once I had organised a trip to the zoo (ok it's not far but a mission to get everyone there!) .. I had arranged to meet my brother and nephew there, take three mindees and my own three and borrow for the day an older ex mindee . One of my dds puked in the night so it was ruined. Wished I hadn't said anything!
    I'm with Smurfette on this. I have permissions for just about anything I think we might do, and try to give parents contemplating entrusting their little ones to me a realistic view of what we might do and how often, but after that I just tell them what I plan and what they need to do, such as pack swimsuit, and I do also sometimes do things on the spur of the moment and tell parents afterwards, for example if I hear something is on that day. I have never had any problems with this approach, so I probably wouldn't send a note or that might give people the idea that they could pick and choose which they don't now.

    But as letters go, it is a good letter...

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  13. #11
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    I just have a form they sign when they start after that if they need to bring some sort of special clothing then I tell them in advance but it is prob a tell and not an ask. Often though big outings are decided because of how the weather is so they are told as they have arrived. Have even rung parents to say we are on way to X as it's such a lovely day. So far have had no problems. I also explain that I invite people round so the children learn to interact with others all parents have been fine with this most are just happy their kids are being loved while they work.

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