Transport

Kindergarten services can use school readiness funding to run transport programs and increase access/attendance for children who otherwise couldn't attend.

Program details

  • Priority area: Access and inclusion
  • Primary audience: Children
  • Delivery mode: Professional services
  • Strength of evidence: Level 3 Promising research evidence
  • AEDC sub-domains: Low attendance record
  • Item cost: Variable

Program description

Services can use their School Readiness Funding to set up and run a Transport Program. The purpose of a Transport Program is to increase kindergarten access and attendance for children who are otherwise unable to access the kindergarten program.

Services running a Transport Program must have policies and procedures in place to ensure child safety and supervision, minimise risks to children, staff and the service, and meet all legislative and regulatory requirements.

Approval of the Transport Program funded with School Readiness Funding will be at the discretion of Regional Departmental staff and will be determined on a case by case basis.

All staff working with kindergarten services as part of a Transport Program are required to work in accordance with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) with particular consideration for the Practice Principle 'Partnerships with families'.

Detailed cost

This will be determined by the options available to the kindergarten service.

Implementation considerations

Target population

Children who are eligible to attend a kindergarten program but are not attending regularly or their attendance is sporadic due to family transport constraints.

Service providers will be required to demonstrate the need for this service to ensure it is targeting the intended population and the intent of School Readiness Funding.

Service providers must seek and document formal permission from parents to transport their children via a Transport Program.

Program/practice descriptions and details

A Transport Program must meet the guidelines outlined on the Department's website in the guidelines Transporting Children: Centre-Based Services.

Specifically, in order to meet the requirement for School Readiness Funding, service providers must manage the Transport Program as part of the educational program including meeting ratio requirements under the national Quality Framework (see 'Providing transport as part of the education and care service').

In addition, a Transport Program under School Readiness Funding must meet the requirements outlined below.

Vehicle specifications

Any vehicle used by a service provider to provide a Transport Program must:

  • be owned or leased by the service provider
  • be registered either in the name of the service provider or by the leasing company, but not in the name of an individual seat up to a maximum of 12 passengers (including the driver)
  • have suitable restraints for children under 7 years of age, see: Child restraints
  • have comprehensive insurance cover.

Service providers engaging in a vehicle lease or rental arrangement with an external company or organisation must ensure that the above specifications are provided for in the lease agreement and must ensure they have a documented contractual arrangement in place.

Vehicle maintenance

Service providers running a Transport Program must:

  • ensure the vehicle is registered with VicRoads. This includes ensuring registration as part of the leasing agreement, if applicable
  • ensure that the vehicles are maintained as roadworthy and ensure repairs are completed as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic
  • meet all costs of purchase/lease and maintenance of the vehicle.

Service providers engaging in a vehicle lease or rental arrangement with an external company or organisation must ensure that the above specifications are provided for in the lease agreement and must ensure they have a documented contractual arrangement in place.

Drivers

A Transport Program set up by a service provider must be staffed by qualified educators employed by the service provider. Educators must meet the requirements under the National quality Framework including:

  • have a relevant Early Childhood Education and Care qualification
  • hold a valid Working with Children Check
  • hold an up-to-date first aid qualification
  • apply their duty of care to children in all circumstances where they are the responsible person for children's care, safety and wellbeing.

Educators responsible for driving the vehicle must hold a valid driver's licence. VicRoads is responsible for the licensing of drivers in Victoria and provides advice on the types of licences required to drive a variety of vehicles including buses used for excursions and other events, see: Licence Categories.

Emergency management procedures

Service providers must have a current emergency management plan for the Transport Program in place. The plan must address hazards and potential threats to children, staff and the service and cover the four components of preparedness, prevention, response and recovery.

The emergency management plan for the Transport Program must:

  • describe actions to take before, during and after an emergency to ensure the ongoing safety of children, staff and others
  • cover all circumstances when the service is responsible for child safety
  • ensure staff and child safety and that children are supervised at all times
  • be reviewed annually and following an emergency or crisis.

Staffing

Service providers should consider how staff will organise their time to run this program, with consideration of extra working hours or backfill costs. Services providers wishing to use School Readiness Funding to cover these costs should include these on their School Readiness Funding annual plans under 'Backfill/additional hours'.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • Partnerships with families
  • High expectations for every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Equity and diversity
  • Assessment for learning and development
  • Integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • Partnerships with professionals.

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

Not applicable.

Updated