Transporting Children and Effects on “Much of the Day”

REMINDER: Please do not share the following blog post or URL. This is a private blog with the intentions for you to share experiences and to receive further clarification and information related to the Environment Rating Scales.

Most providers love to help out the families they serve. Many will volunteer to transport a family’s child to and from preschool as part of their caregiving duties. Parents love this! The parent doesn’t have to leave work or find other means of transportation. It’s a win-win, right?

ChildSeatWait… how do the other children feel? The children who have to ride along while the preschool child is transported to and from preschool. The children who have to ride in the van 10, 15, 20 minutes each way, plus wait in the parking lot for the teacher to escort the preschooler to the van. The child who had to stop building that amazing block tower for her ponies, not for a snack or to go outside and play, but to ride in the van. This much time spent transporting children can severely effect “much of the day” on the FCCERS-R.

Remember “much of the day” means any time children are awake and able to play, the specified materials should be accessible. There should be no long periods where children are not actively engaged in activities and no more than 20 minutes total of time during a 3-hour observation. What are the children doing while transporting and are they ALL actively engaged the entire time? Is the provider able to safely transport children while keeping them actively engaged?

Have you had any discussions with the providers you work with about transporting children?

For more information on “much of the day”, see page10 of your FCCERS-R book and the additional notes. (

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Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner

Melissa Wagner is an Early Childhood Coordinator with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Melissa has over 10 years of experience with the Environment Rating Scales as an assessor for research projects and Iowa's Quality Rating System and now as the ERS Training project coordinator. Melissa loves hearing success stories about providers who have made great strides to improve the quality of care within their program. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, camping, and house projects.

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