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Transportation Services Checklist

In 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Head Start issued regulations governing transportation services. While transportation services are not required in order to make Head Start widely available to low-income children, more than 70 percent of Head Start grantees and delegate agencies provide transportation services. This checklist can be used by local programs that provide transportation services as a tool for ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations.

This checklist can also be used as part of your agency's annual self-assessment and community assessment process. To complete the checklist, check "Yes" if this has been done; check "No" if it has not been done; "DK" if you do not know; and "NA" if the question does not apply.







Has your staff reviewed Transportation, 45 CFR § 1303.70 (2016) to ensure that standards that apply to your agency are in place?



Do your state's transportation laws apply to Head Start vehicles and their operation?



Do your state's Department of Education (DOE) Pupil Transportation System regulations apply to Head Start vehicles?



Does your state DOE publish minimum standards that support school bus classifications and specifications?



Does your state's DOE publish transportation operational manuals?



Does your agency have a copy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Highway Safety Program Guideline 17: Pupil Transportation Safety?



Does your agency have a copy of Recommendations of the Sixteenth National Conference on School Transportation: National School Transportation Specifications and Procedures, 2015 Revised Edition? It is revised every five years.



Does your agency transport children in school buses?



Does your agency transport children on allowable alternative vehicles?



Does your agency contract transportation services?



Are vehicles used to transport children to and from Head Start and Early Head Start programs equipped with age-, height-, and weight-appropriate child safety restraint systems?



Do your agency's transportation policies and procedures include provisions for transporting children with special needs?



Does every vehicle have at least one assigned monitor (attendant, aide) on board at all times when children are being transported?



Are vehicles equipped with reverse beepers?



Are vehicles equipped with required emergency equipment (fire extinguisher, first aid kit, reflective triangles, seatbelt cutters, etc.)?



Are vehicles inspected by state-approved Motor Vehicle Inspection (MVI) stations at least once annually?



Does your agency require preventive maintenance of all (owned and contracted) vehicles used to transport children to and from program activities?



Are drivers and monitors required to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections before and after every trip?



Are new vehicles inspected at the time of delivery as required by 45 CFR § 1303.71(f)?



Do your agency's records indicate compliance with licensing and other requirements for drivers specified in Section 1303.72(b) (1) and (2)?



Are pre-service and in-service training compatible with requirements specified in 45 CFR 1303.72(d)?



Have fixed routes been planned to ensure that the safety of children is the primary consideration in route design?



Do children's daily rides to and from program activities exceed one hour each way?



Are children required to cross roadways before boarding or after leaving their respective vehicles at stop locations?



Have alternate routes been designed for use during hazardous conditions?



Does the instructional program for children and parents include passenger safety, pedestrian safety, emergency procedures and other topics specified in 45 CFR 1303.74 Safety Procedures?



Are emergency evacuation drills conducted on the vehicle in which the child will be riding, and at least twice annually thereafter?



Are parents involved in safety education?



Have parents been trained in their roles with respect to their children's safety?



Does your agency maintain cost accounting procedures to determine the actual cost of transportation services?



Does your agency maintain a written cost allocation plan that includes the allocation of transportation costs?



Does your agency participate in a transportation coordinating council?



Have efforts been made to coordinate Head Start and/or Early Head Start transportation activities with other community transportation services?


Once you have completed the checklist, the following next steps are recommended:

  • Make a record of each item on the checklist that you checked as "No." Begin to work with staff, parents, and/or community members to find ways to improve your agency's transportation services.
  • Make a record of each item on the checklist that you checked as "DK." Begin to work with staff to find ways to ensure compliance. Be sure to review Transportation, 45 CFR §1303.70 (2016).
  • Note: For agencies that are not currently providing transportation services, but are strategically planning ahead, this checklist can be used as a planning tool.

Source: Adapted from Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI).


Keywords:Transportation services

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: July 16, 2018