In a Head Start program, the bus is not just a vehicle to transport children; it is also a learning environment. This article can be used by classroom teachers to further their understanding of creating age-appropriate activities for children who ride the bus. The classroom teacher can help transportation staff become a resource for the classroom; likewise, transportation staff can be an integral part of the classroom.
Families depend on programs to keep their children safe at all times. This includes when they travel to and from the program by bus. This sample sign-in sheet has a written attendance log that staff and family members can sign every time a child gets on and off the bus. There is also a space on the sheet for a photo of each child. The photos help staff with name-to-face recognition, so they always release the right child to an authorized adult. These simple injury prevention strategies can help staff account for all children who ride the bus.
Head Start transportation teams have an important job. Each day, safe and reliable transportation services can be a child’s first interaction with Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Not only do transportation teams have to ensure that buses are safe and routes run on time, they also must supervise children. This webinar may help transportation teams identify strategies for meeting some of the many challenges they experience every day.
Learn more about using active supervision and attention management strategies on Head Start buses.
Head Start programs are not required to provide transportation services. However, when they do provide those services, they must comply with key regulations. Explore these resources to support programs in the safe and efficient movement of children from one point to another.
When children are driven in a motor vehicle other than a bus, all children should be transported only if they are restrained in a developmentally appropriate car safety seat, booster seat, seat belt, or harness that is suited to the child's weight and age in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The child should be securely fastened, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Each year, approximately 4,000 train/vehicle collisions occur at railroad crossings. In an effort to avert these types of crashes, the National Safety Council has recommended specific procedures for school bus drivers. Head Start grantees and delegates need to note that these recommendations must be considered within the context of individual state laws and regulations.
Each year, Head Start and Early Head Start programs transport more than 250,000 children. Ensuring the safety of children is one of Head Start’s highest priorities. Program directors and transportation managers can prepare for the school year and help keep kids safe, whether on the bus or in a family vehicle. Watch this webinar to learn about the importance of transportation safety, and find out what activities are being planned by the Office of Head Start.
The interior of vehicles used to transport children for field trips and out-of-program activities should be maintained at a temperature comfortable to children. All vehicles should be locked when not in use, head counts of children should be taken before and after transporting to prevent a child from being left in a vehicle, and children should never be left in a vehicle unattended.
Early care and education programs that provide transportation for any purpose to children, parents/guardians, staff, and others should not use 15-passenger vans when avoidable.