NSW launches Safe Transport Regulatory Priority Program
The Sector > Policy > Examples > Safe Transport Regulatory Priority Program supports safe transportation of children

Safe Transport Regulatory Priority Program supports safe transportation of children

by Freya Lucas

September 28, 2023
Safe Transport Regulatory Priority Program

The New South Wales Regulatory Authority launched the Safe Transport Regulatory Priority Program last month to improve provider and service knowledge of safe transport best practice and ensuring compliance with all transport regulatory requirements.


The regulatory priority program:


  • provides extensive information, guidance and resources to the sector on safe transport, including updated regulatory requirements
  • spotlights risks associated with transporting children in ECEC settings
  • uplifts and embeds quality practices to ensure children are safe and protected from harm and risks associated with transportation


In March this year, new transport regulations for centre-based services came into effect. Acknowledging the high levels of risk associated with transporting children, the changes were introduced as a direct response to incidents occurring during transportation of children in ECEC services.


Approved providers and nominated supervisors are now required to:


  • ensure a staff member or nominated supervisor (other than the driver) accounts for children as they get in or out of a vehicle at the education and care service


  • ensure clear records are made showing children are accounted for as they get in or out of a vehicle at the ECEC service


  • ensure records are made confirming a check inside the vehicle was completed at the service after all children have disembarked to ensure no one is left behind


  • notify the regulatory authority through the National Quality Agenda IT System when they start or cease providing or arranging regular transport, as per regulation 175(2). See ACECQA’s Transportation notification submissions guide for instructions on how to notify.


Each service context is different and there are variable levels of risk relevant to each. Before transporting children, services must complete a risk assessment to identify potential risks to children and strategies they use to manage and minimise the identified risks. 


Regulation 102C outlines the considerations and factors that risk assessments for transporting children must address. Services should complete a new risk assessment when their circumstances substantially change, for example when the number of children being transported impacts decisions about adequate staffing for supervision.


ACECQA has developed a sample Safe transportation of children safety checklist and regular transportation record to support risk assessments and management in transportation. The Transport Safety Risk Assessment and Management Guide also provides risk assessment templates and best practice examples.


Watch the recent ECE Connect ‘Safe Transportation of Children in ECE Services’ webinar delivered by the department in partnership with Kids and Traffic


The NSW Regulatory Authority has also created a regulatory guidance note and to grow the understanding of safe transportation requirements and considerations.


Visit the department’s Transporting children safely webpage for additional resources and best practice guidance.

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