From childcare duties to job obligations, many working moms have been pushed to their limits. Even the flexibility of remote work isn’t enough to make some childcare responsibilities easy. Almost all working moms struggle to take their kids to school or daycare and pick them on time.
This is one of the reasons why many moms are adopting the carpooling system to get their toddlers to daycare or nurseries and have them picked up on time. Convenience is the most obvious advantage of a carpooling system for toddlers. Working moms can significantly cut down on how often they drive their toddlers to daycare depending on the number of kids in the pool.
However, spending less time on the road also means saving on gas which can be a boon considering the fluctuating price of gas. This gas price chart shows the fluctuating and rising national average gas price in the US with the lowest being about $2.31 in January 2021 and the highest at $3.42 in early November.
Having an effective carpooling system requires rigorous planning and commitment if the system is to last for a long time. Below are some tips on how to launch an effective carpooling system for toddlers.
- Find parents with compatible schedules
A carpooling system is only as effective as the parents involved. So when reaching out to potential parents for a carpooling system, the schedule of the parents should be the single most important criterion. Everybody in the pool should be available whenever it’s their turn to drive the kids to and from their daycare or nurseries.
Pitching the idea of a carpooling system for toddlers can be done on social media or by meeting other parents after daycare drop-offs. Other parents are bound to show interest in a potential carpooling system and most would be willing to consider and talk about the system.
A common carpooling mistake involves coordinating the pool around gender. Finding parents with compatible schedules can be a bit tricky at times and imposing unnecessary restrictions such as gender can quickly thin out the number of compatible parents.
The idea of a carpooling system is to make life easier for parents and any unnecessary hindrance that gets in the way of achieving this goal should be avoided.
- Conduct monthly safety discussions
For a carpooling system to survive, there’s a need for periodic reviews of the system. A way to go about this is to conduct monthly safety meetings where the performance of the system and matters of safety can be discussed. At such meetings, parents can discuss traffic situations on the road and plan alternative routes to convey kids faster and safer.
The convenience of the children is of utmost importance and parents should discuss car conditions and seating arrangements. Having proper head supports for car seats is especially beneficial with toddlers in the car as it improves the safety of the kids on the road. Discussions should also be held about disruptive or uncooperative kids so that they can be better managed in the future.
- Discuss contingency plans
There are times when a parent might not be available to drop off or pick the kids. It might be due to an emergency or work-related issue and there should be contingency plans for whenever such situations occur. Of course, another parent would have to fill in and discussions about potential replacement drivers for every parent on duty can be held in advance.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to coordinating and planning. Carpooling parents should naturally have each other’s contacts and a group where information about any change in availability of the person on duty can be quickly disseminated. This way, all parents are aware of this, and people supposed to step in are given a heads up.
- Set driver rules
Carpooling means trusting other people to drive your kids and vice versa. Due to this, rules should be established to optimize the safety of the children. One of the most important rules to have is that only parents are allowed to drive the kids, no teen siblings or any relatives allowed. And parents in the pool should abide by all safety rules.
Some carpooling systems require parents to check the gas levels in their cars before drop-offs or pick-ups. This is to avoid a situation where the vehicle breaks down due to lack of fuel which not only gets the kids late but can also be stressful to them.
- Set car rules
Any mom can testify to the fact that kids can be a rowdy bunch. To promote orderliness in the car, there’s a need to have car rules about sitting arrangements, in-car dining, noise factor, music, and so on. Parents need to discuss car rules extensively and ensure that everyone is on board with the rules. However, coming up with car rules for toddlers should be fairly easy as everyone would want to keep car conflicts to a minimum to focus on driving.