Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.2 Policies

9.2.5 Transportation Policies Transportation Policy for Centers and Large Family Homes

Written policies should address the safe transport of children by vehicle to or from the facility, including field trips, home pick-ups and deliveries, and special outings. The transportation policy should include:

  1. Licensing of vehicles and drivers;
  2. Vehicle selection to safely transport children, based on vehicle design and condition;
  3. Operation and maintenance of vehicles;
  4. Driver selection, training, and supervision;
  5. Child:staff ratio during transport;
  6. Accessibility to first aid kit, emergency ID/contact and pertinent health information for passengers, cell phone, or two-way radio;
  7. Permitted and prohibited activities during transport;
  8. Backup arrangements for emergencies;
  9. Use of seat belt and car safety seat, including booster seats;
  10. Drop-off and pick-up plans;
  11. Plan for communication between the driver and the child care facility staff;
  12. Maximum travel time for children (no more than forty-five minutes in one trip);
  13. Procedures to ensure that no child is left in the vehicle at the end of the trip or left unsupervised outside or inside the vehicle during loading and unloading the vehicle;
  14. Use of passenger vans.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children two to fourteen years of age in the United States (1). It is necessary for the safety of children to require that the caregiver/teacher comply with requirements governing the transportation of children in care, in the absence of the parent/guardian. Not all vehicles are designed to safely transport children, especially young children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that preschool and school aged children should not be transported in twelve- or fifteen-passenger vehicles due to safety concerns (2,3). Children have died because they have fallen asleep and been left in vehicles. Others have died or been injured when left outside the vehicle when thought to have been loaded into the vehicle. The process of loading and unloading children from a vehicle can distract caregivers/teachers from adequate supervision of children either inside or outside the vehicle. Policies and procedures must account for the management of these risks.
Maintenance should include an inspection checklist for every trip. Vehicle maintenance service should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations or at least every three months.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Ratios and Supervision During Transportation Qualifications for Drivers Drop-Off and Pick-Up Child Passenger Safety Passenger Vans Transportation Policy for Small Family Child Care Homes
  1. National Safety Council (NSC). 2009. Injury facts. 2009 ed. Chicago: NSC.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Passenger van safety.