Safeguarding Little Passengers

Our ‘Kindy busses’ are used to take Kindergarten children on excursions, and to transport children to and from school. We are vigilant about transporting children. It’s a high priority item that has had some media attention and we’ve put strategies around it to manage the risk and protect the children in our care.

In early 2021, we  installed an alarm system on our entire fleet of buses to ensure the safety of children in our care. Our fleet of commuter busses have been fitted with the technology at a cost of about $30,000. An alarm will sound unless a staff member walks to the back of the bus and turns it off, ensuring a visual check of the bus is carried out. Positioning it at the back of the bus ensures the person checks the bus for sleeping children as they walk through the bus to turn off the alarm and again as they exit.

We also reviewed all of our policies and procedures concerning the transportation of children, and implemented mandatory staff induction and training, but the most important thing we’ve done is fitting our commuter buses with technology to ensure that there’s a reminder check on the buses.

We investigated many options and different types of technology before deciding on the alarm system.

Educators have two minutes from turning off the ignition to go around the bus, go inside the bus and walk to the back of the bus and hit a button that turns off the alarm. If they don’t do that visual check, horns and alarms start to go off. We investigated different methods and technology, and quite a few companies to find what we feel is the best fit.

It’s really important, something that’s very close to home and it’s helping our Educators too. It’s helping them as a forced reminder because things happen when you’re taking eight children off a bus, for instance a child kicks their toe or something happens … you can get diverted away from doing that visual check. This takes it out of Educators hands, if they are distracted and the visual check doesn’t happen, the alarm goes off.

Educators Embrace the Initiative

The best thing is that our Educators welcomed the move, which was combined with processes and training to ensure children are safe. Two staff members are now allocated, when transporting children.

Being able to take children off-site for excursions is an important part of our program as there are many fun and educational activities to engage with outside of the centre.

The child check bus alarm systems also give parents peace of mind.

Safety is our number one priority, and we know that putting this into place has really made a difference.

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