Results from the department’s recent transport audit have highlighted the important role Queensland’s early childhood services play in transporting children safely.
There was a fantastic response to the audit, with 2,203 services (or about 70% of all approved services) completing the survey.
Results showed 685 early childhood services across the state reported providing transport for children in their care, including 352 services that offer a daily transport service.
The majority of services transporting children are long day care, with 405 reporting they transported children compared with 129 outside school hours care services, 85 family day care services and 66 other service types, including kindergarten.
Services were asked to identify the age of children they were transporting with about 40% transporting children younger than 4 years of age and just over 70% transporting children over the age of 4.
Centre-based services, such as long day care services, that also offer outside school hours care may transport children from both age groups.
Of the 685 early childhood services that reported transporting children, about 20% transport children who are under the age of 2.
The transport audit results clearly show that many Queensland families rely on the transportation services early childhood services provide.
In addition to transporting children between their home and the service and to excursions and regular outings, 54 early childhood services also reported transporting children directly between home and school.
A small number of services also transport children to family support and appointments.
The transport audit data will enable the department to have greater regulatory oversight of transportation services provided by early childhood services, which will be a focus as new transport requirements under the National Regulations come into effect from 1 October 2020.
The data will also inform Queensland’s policy position on transportation as part of the National Quality Framework Review.
Safe transportation continues to be a key priority, with everyone who transports children being reminded to look before you lock. Every time.
Thank you again to all those services who responded to the audit.