Early childhood services must be vigilant concerning the potential dangers when transporting children in vehicles and have strategies in place to manage the risks and protect children in their care.

All early childhood education and care services that transport children must have a specific written transport policy and procedure in place following changes to the National Regulations.

The following guidance is to support approved providers of both centre-based and family day care services operating in Queensland to transport children safely and meet national transport requirements.

Approved provider responsibilities

Approved providers, nominated supervisors and family day care educators have obligations under the Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) or the Education and Care Services Act 2013 to ensure children are adequately supervised at all times, and that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and from any hazard likely to cause injury.

Under the National Regulations, approved providers that provide or arrange transportation of children must ensure their service meets specific transportation requirements.

If you are regulated under the National Law, you should:

  1. have an adequate detailed policy and procedure for the transportation of children
  2. have a current transport risk assessment
  3. ensure all staff are inducted in the transport policy and procedure and have completed practical training. Training should also occur following any updates to the transportation policy and procedure. The approved provider should ensure that a record of the training is kept at the service for inspection by authorised officers
  4. have written authorisation from a parent or other person named in the enrolment record
  5. ensure the transport policy and procedure is rehearsed at least quarterly. The approved provider should ensure a record of the rehearsals is kept available for inspection at the service by authorised officers.

These steps guide good practice for all services and whether your service is regulated under the National Law or ECS Act, consideration must be given to ensuring children’s safety while transporting children.

Family day care educator requirements

Family day care educators and family day care educator assistants, in consultation with the approved provider and nominated supervisor, may need to consider other safety requirements when transporting children. They must:

  • only transport the number of children that can be safely transported in the car
  • ensure children are accompanied at all times by a family day care educator or family day care educator assistant when in a vehicle
  • ensure vehicles are not accessible to children when not in use.

Additional requirements for all services

Additional and different legislative obligations apply to the provision of all categories of a transportation service, including:

  • driver licensing or vehicle operator accreditation,
  • the safe operation of vehicles including the use of age-appropriate and standardised safety restraints, and
  • vehicle registration and road worthiness.

Everyone travelling in a motor vehicle must comply with the required legislative provisions regarding the use of a child restraints, booster seats or seat belts and ensure that they are properly adjusted and fastened.

Risk assessments for excursions, regular outings and regular transporting (as defined for services under the National Law) that involve motor vehicle transport should include details of the child's restraint needs which, for regular outings and regular transport, may need to be assessed more frequently than every 12 months as the needs of the child may change during this period.

It is the approved provider's responsibility to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children by being aware of, and meeting their obligations to children in their service.

Related information

Learn more about an approved provider's responsibilities relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of children attending their service:

  • ACECQA safe transportation of children information sheet (PDF, 193KB)
  • Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) (PDF, 1.5MB)
    • Section 165: Offence to inadequately supervise children
    • Section 167: Offence relating to protection of children from harm or hazards
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations (Queensland) (PDF, 2MB)
    • Regulation 99: Children leaving the education and care service premises
    • Regulation 100: Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion
    • Regulation 101 Conduct of risk assessment for excursion
    • Regulation 102: Authorisation for excursions
    • Regulation 102B: Transport risk assessment must be conducted before service transports child
    • Regulation 102C: Conduct of risk assessment for transporting of children by the education and care service
    • Regulation 102D: Authorisation for service to transport children
    • Regulation 161: Authorisations to be kept in enrolment record
    • Regulation 168: Education and care services must have policies and procedures (including excursions (Regulation 168(2)(g)) and transportation of children (Regulation 168(2)(ga))
  • Education and Care Services Act 2013
    • Section 121: Children must be adequately supervised
    • Section 122: Children must be protected from harm and hazards
  • Education and Care Services Regulation 2013
    • Regulation 26: Departure of children
    • Regulation 55: Excursions risk assessments
    • Regulation 56: Authorisation for excursions
    • Regulation 61: Children's attendance record
    • Regulation 62: Child Enrolment records
    • Regulation 63: Authorisations to be kept in enrolment record
    • Regulation 65: QEC approved services must have policies and procedures
  • National Quality Standard
    • Quality area 2—Children's health and safety.
Last updated 17 November 2020