An Ode to the Carline

The beginning of the year brings new families and new routines.  We are greeted everyday with smiles, giggles, and sometimes a few (but fleeting) tears.  We thought for our first post of the year, we would do a small tribute to, and explanation of: our carline.

Why, oh why, do we need the carline???

The carline is our transition tool.  Whether your little one bounces out of the car with a smile or maybe needs a little support, the carline can be to your benefit. Key factors to consider: location, best option for loading and unloading of kiddos quickly and efficiently, how to assist in a positive transition to school.  

Ok, the short answer.  Parking is tricky and lacking.  That’s the simple fact of the matter.  We just don’t have the parking available for our families to all park and walk to the building.  

Now, for the longer and more complex answer.  We need the carline for the following reasons…

  1. The Clean Break: for some children the transition to school in the morning can be tricky.  While your child may jump out and run to the door without a goodbye, wave or even a look back.  Others can struggle with leaving their grown up behind. The carline gives a quick, clean break to let the child know it’s time for school.  

  2. The Parent Check In: we all want to know what happens for our children when they go to school.  That is part of being a parent. While some news is fun and light, at other times we need to fill you in on more challenging moments.  No parent wants to have their child standing next to them, listening to the teacher talk about a tough moment they had. We want the children to be inside and occupied while we have a space to chat freely without little ears involved.  

  3. The Sibling: Do you know how many of our families have babies in car seats? Answer: lots! We understand how tricky it can be.  It often can take longer to get the children out of the car then it does to walk them to the door. The carline lets siblings stay put while the big kid pops out and heads to the classroom.    

  4. The Weather: Who doesn’t love a sunny day for pick up/drop off.  I wish everyday was sunny at 72 degrees. But our reality is it rains…and no joke…it loves to rain during drop off.  The clouds know we are trying to quickly get 15 kiddos inside, and they always decide 9:00am is the best time for rain.  At least with the carline- it is just the teachers getting wet.

  5. The Safety of us all: Our building is located on a fairly well trafficked road.  Having families coming and going across the street opens up a safety concern for you and your little ones.  We cannot control how people drive down the street, but we can help control the flow of our families in and out of the building.



With all of this, we still truly understand that the carline can be frustrating for some who are waiting.  So, what are your options? Because you do have options:

  1. Hop in the carline, and let us do the work (with just a wee bit of help from you to keep it moving smoothly)

  2. Park on the opposite side of the street, or in the municipal lot, and walk up

  3. Walk to school because you can

If you are doing the carline, work with us to follow the routine.  We are bigger now than we have ever been (yay to a successful program that has an amazing community that supports us year after year).  We are still learning what is the most efficient and timely way for dismissal. (Because let’s face it, arrival takes about 6 minutes to get everyone into the classroom) The routine takes a few weeks to get a good flow, but when it get’s going it really does work well.  We are doing our best to have two people out there for AM dismissal, and this should help keep the flow of kids coming outside.

Oh, wait!! The greatest X factor in the whole dismissal process.  The kids. We start the pack up process about 10 minutes before we dismiss.  They pack up their lunch and their “stuff” in this 10 minutes. Some kiddos need more time than others.  So, you might pull up and watch us bring several children out, yet your child is not one of them. To honor the process of letting them build independence we let them practice independence.  That sometimes means we stand close by and watch them try (and at times fail) several times to close a container or zip a bag. Trust us, they do get better at it, and it does move along faster as the year goes on.  

Basic carline do’s

-stay inside your car

-pull up as far as you can to allow for others to fit in

-keep your child in the car until a teacher comes to get them out

Basic carline don’ts

-getting out of your car (unless we specifically ask you to)

-letting your child out before we come to get them (esp across the alley)

We hope this sheds some light on why we do what we do.  Please feel free to share with others who may assist you with the carline process. We wish you all a speedy and easy experience.  Now…let the carline begin.


Amy Mcclements