Best Mom Ever: Kate Gosselin Lets Kids Play Under the Minivan

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Kate Gosselin is not winning any parent of the year awards after this.

In startling photos taken yesterday, her kids were seen climbing around and beneath the family-size van, with one of their heads behind the right front wheel.

The alarming scenario occurred when the former reality star pulled up at a parking lot to meet the school bus and take her eight kids with Jon Gosselin home.

Kate was lambasted by parenting and child protection advocates:

Gosselin Kids at Play
The Great Kate Gosselin

"A minivan is a 3000-pound lethal weapon and having children crawling around it is not prudent," KidsAndCars (dot) org president Janette Fennell said.

Rather than getting out of the huge van to supervise them, Kate stayed in the driver seat as the kids piled in with their big backpacks on their backs.

Instead of following his siblings into the car, some of them scrambled all the way under the vehicle and play on the ground ... with the engine running.

Even though Kate didn't run anyone over, "She should have gotten out of the car to supervise, especially when you have that many kids," Fennell says.

"Kids tend to put themselves in harms way in an instant. You should never leave them unattended around vehicles. Children that age are unpredictable."

Maybe KG was just clipping coupons hard up front.

[Photos: Pacific Coast News]