Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.1 Child:Staff Ratio, Group Size, and Minimum Age

1.1.1 Child:Staff Ratio and Group Size Ratios and Supervision During Transportation

Child:staff ratios established for out-of-home child care should be maintained on all transportation the facility provides or arranges. Drivers should not be included in the ratio. No child of any age should be left unattended in or around a vehicle, when children are in a car, or when they are in a car seat. A face-to-name count of children should be conducted prior to leaving for a destination, when the destination is reached, before departing for return to the facility and upon return. Caregivers/teachers should also remember to take into account in this head count if any children were picked up or dropped off while being transported away from the facility.


Children must receive direct supervision when they are being transported, in loading zones, and when they get in and out of vehicles. Drivers must be able to focus entirely on driving tasks, leaving the supervision of children to other adults. This is especially important with young children who will be sitting in close proximity to one another in the vehicle and may need care during the trip. In any vehicle making multiple stops to pick up or drop off children, this also permits one adult to get one child out and take that child to a home, while the other adult supervises the children remaining in the vehicle, who would otherwise be unattended for that time (1). Children require supervision at all times, even when buckled in seat restraints. A head count is essential to ensure that no child is inadvertently left behind in or out of the vehicle. Child deaths in child care have occurred when children were mistakenly left in vehicles, thinking the vehicle was empty.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS First Aid and Emergency Supplies
  1. Aird, L. D. 2007. Moving kids safely in child care: A refresher course. Child Care Exchange (January/February): 25-28.