You want to take your family daycare children on a field trip to the park, zoo, museum or some other location.
But, you can’t take all of the children in your car, so you seek out other ways to transport the children:
You ask one of the daycare parents to drive some of the children in her car.
You hire a neighbor to transport some of the children in his car.
You hire a transportation company to transport all the children.
What are the risks associated with these options and how can you best protect the children and your business?
If children are injured while in a vehicle, they are covered under the vehicle owner’s car insurance. So, if other parents or a neighbor are using their vehicles you want to be sure they have adequate car insurance. Ask for evidence that they have insurance (as well as a valid driver’s license).
It’s unlikely that they will need commercial insurance because they are not in the business of caring for children or transporting children. However, if you pay them to transport the children, it may make a difference. Therefore, in all cases, the owner of the vehicle should check with her insurance to make sure she is covered when she transports children.
If you use a transportation company, they will have vehicle insurance. Even so, it’s a good idea to ask for proof of insurance, just in case.
If you pay someone to transport children (by using a friend or transportation company), the cost is 100% deductible for your business. Claim this on Schedule C, line 9 (Car and Truck expense).
Once you are at the destination of your field trip, car insurance no longer covers the children. Instead, you need professional business liability insurance to protect you against injuries and lawsuits. Your homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to cover daycare children injured away from your home (or while at your home).
When taking children on field trips you should always get written parent permission. The permission form should indicate the circumstances of who will be driving and whether a transportation company is involved. You don’t want any misunderstanding from parents about how their child is getting to the field trip destination.
* Make sure you comply with all state child care licensing rules regarding the transportation of children. Make sure whoever is transporting the child is following your state laws regarding the use of child passenger restraint systems.
* Have every driver carry a cell phone so you can communicate in the event of a traffic jam or emergency.
* Maintain proper supervision each time children are being picked up or dropped off.
* Follow proper safety procedures if you will be making other stops along the way. (Children should never be left alone in a car, even for a moment.)
It’s a lot to think about, but keeping children safe is your primary responsibility. These reducing risks steps can help.
Enjoy your field trips!
See also my article “Does Your Car Insurance Really Cover You When Transporting Children?”
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: holzeredwardsinjurylawyers.com
For more information about insurance, including car insurance, see my book Family Child Care Legal & Insurance Issues.