JavaScript is required

Transporting children in early childhood services

Requirements for transportation that apply to all early childhood services.

Transporting children in buses or any other type of vehicle can create risks to children’s safety, health and wellbeing. 

The information on this page relates to transportation that is part of the service on:

  • single trips
  • regular transportation.

It does not cover:

These requirements apply to all services including occasional care and limited hours services.

Transportation as part of the service

Transportation is part of the service when:

  • the service provides or arranges the transportation
  • the service accepts legal responsibility for the children’s care and wellbeing while they are being transported.

Transportation is not part of the service when:

  • families provide private transportation for children. This includes transportation by carers not employed by the early childhood service.
  • transport is not provided or arranged by the early childhood service. For example a school bus where children are not under the care of the service (refer to the School buses in rural and regional Victoria section on this page).

Transportation requirements

Approved providers must make sure their service complies with the following legal requirements.

This information applies to all care types including occasional care and limited hours services. 

Your service must:

  1. have a policy and procedures for transportation that includes procedures that cover how the service will manage:
    • risk assessments for transporting children
    • written authorisations from parents/guardians.
  2. complete a risk assessment. Refer to the Risk assessments section on this page for more detail:
    • to identify risks and
    • specify how the risks will be managed and minimised.
  3. get written authorisation from a parent or a person authorised by the parent to authorise the transportation of the child.
  4. maintain adequate supervision during transportation and meet:
    • the relevant educator to child ratios and
    • qualification requirements.
  5. have staff members or nominated supervisors present who have the following qualifications:
    • at least one staff member or nominated supervisor who holds a current approved first aid qualification.
    • at least one staff member or nominated supervisor who has undertaken current approved anaphylaxis management training.
    • at least one staff member or nominated supervisor who has undertaken approved emergency asthma management training.
  6. take every reasonable precaution to protect children from harm and any hazard.
  7. follow Victorian road safety rules about child restraints and seat belts.

Risk assessments

All services must complete a risk assessment before they transport children. It is an important way to plan and minimise risks. 

In the case of regular transportation, a risk assessment can be conducted every 12 months. 

Risk assessments for transportation must consider the following issues:

  • the proposed route and duration of the transportation
  • the proposed pick-up location and destination
  • the means of transport
  • any requirements for seatbelts or safety restraints under Victorian road safety rules
  • any water hazards
  • the number of adults and children involved in the transportation
  • given the risks identified, you should consider:
    • how many educators or other responsible adults are needed to adequately supervise children at all times
    • if you need any adults with specialised skills present
    • if you need to bring any specific items with you in the vehicle (e.g. mobile phone, list of emergency contacts for the children being transported)
    • the process you will use to manage children while they get on or off the vehicle(s) to make sure each child is accounted for: 
      • when entering and exiting the service premises
      • at the pick-up location or 
      • at any other destination(s).

Read the updated Safe Transportation of Children information sheet.

Risk assessment templates

The following ACECQA templates can be accessed from the ‘risk assessment and management tool’ tab:  Quality Area 2: Children’s health and safety.

  • For one off transportation: ‘Risk assessment and management template – Transporting children'. This does not include excursions.
  • For excursions that include transportation: ‘Risk assessment and management template – Excursions’.
  • For centre-based services offering regular transportation use: ‘Safe Transportation of Children Safety Checklist and Transport record form’.
  • For FDC services offering regular transport use: ‘Risk assessment and management template – Transporting children’.

Make sure you tailor the template for your own service.

Written authorisations

No child may be taken outside any early childhood service, family day care residence or family day care venue on an excursion, regular outing or regular transportation without written authorisation from:

  • a parent or
  • another person named in the child’s enrolment record as having authority to authorise the taking of the child outside the education and care premises.

Written authorisations for transportation must include:

  • the child’s name
  • reason for transportation
  • description of the proposed pick-up location and destination
  • means of transport used
  • the period of time during which the child is to be transported
  • the anticipated number of children likely to be transported and
  • the number of staff and additional adults who will accompany and supervise the children.

Finally, the authorisation must include any requirements for seat belts, and advise that a risk assessment has been prepared and is available at the service with the written policies and procedures for transporting children. 

Regular transportation

All services, including occasional care and limited hours services, must:

  • have policies and procedures for regular transportation of children, and
  • have conducted a risk assessment within the previous 12 months
  • if circumstances are not ‘substantially the same’ then a new risk assessment must be conducted. The new circumstances could include a new location, new children, new route, new provider or other factors.

Approved providers and nominated supervisors of centre-based services including long day care, kindergarten, outside school hours, occasional care and limited hours services that provide or arrange regular transportation must follow specific requirements below when children are getting on or off vehicles. 

These additional requirements do not apply to family day care services that provide regular transportation.

Approved providers and nominated supervisors of centre-based services including occasional care and limited hours service must ensure that: 

  • a staff member or nominated supervisor is present at the service when children get on or off a vehicle at the service. This person must be an extra person, it cannot be the driver of the vehicle.
  • each child getting on or off a vehicle at the service must be checked off an attendance list
  • the staff member or nominated supervisor then checks the vehicle after the children get off, to make sure that no children are left on the vehicle
  • the service must immediately make a record that:
  • The service must notify the department via: the NQAITS online portal (NQF services) or using Form AS10 for occasional care or limited hours services within 7 days of
    • when they start providing or arranging regular transport
    • when they stop/finish providing or arranging regular transport.

If the transportation is ‘regular transportation’ then the authorisation is only required once in a 12-month period. 

Read more about 

School buses in rural and regional Victoria

The School Bus Program operates in rural and regional Victoria. It helps families to transport their children to and from a 4 year old kindergarten service. Children must be 4 years old to use this service.

The School Bus Program is not provided as part of the education and care service.

Even though this transport is not part of the service, all services must:

  • make sure the delivery and collection of children policy and procedures includes the following information:
    • the roles and responsibilities of parents, the service and educators when children use the School Bus Program
    • communication protocols between the parents and the service:
      • where a child does not arrive at the service or at home at the expected time or
      • where a child expected to be transported but is not travelling on a particular day
    • arrangements for children being transported for the first time.

Bus Accreditation

Any organisation that owns and operates a bus: 

  • with 10 or more seating positions (including the driver) 
  • that provides transport to children of any age  

must be accredited by Safe Transport Victoria(opens in a new window).

This applies to all early childhood providers and services following changes to the Bus Safety Act 2009(opens in a new window) that commenced on 1 March 2022. 

Providers and services that charter a bus with a driver from an existing accredited bus operator or rent a bus from a hire and drive agency do not need to be accredited. 

Visit Safe Transport Victoria’s website(opens in a new window)  for more information on how to apply for bus operator accreditation(opens in a new window). 

Regardless of whether or not you hold accreditation, all providers and services must ensure that children transported by bus or any other vehicle use the appropriate safety restraints for their size(opens in a new window). 


ACECQA has developed information sheets and other resources: