June 23, 2010
Dear Child Care Provider:
This letter is being sent to you as a reminder from the Department of Social Services, Child Care Licensing & Regulatory Section. Summer has arrived and temperatures inside vehicles rise quickly.
As a provider of child care services in a licensed facility, you are required to conduct a visual check of the vehicle to ensure that no child is left in the vehicle. Immediately upon unloading the last child and to ensure that all children have been unloaded, the driver/staff shall physically walk through the vehicle and inspect all seat surfaces, under all seats and in all compartments or recesses in the vehicle's interior. The driver/staff shall record the time of the inspection and sign his/her full name indicating that all children were removed from the vehicle. This applies to all transportation whether provided by you or arranged (contract, parent provided). Regulations pertaining to the visual check may be found in Section 7333.F, 7335.F and 7337 for Class A providers and Section 7363.B.1.i for Class B providers.
The safe transport of children to and from child care facilities and field trips is essential to protecting these vulnerable Louisiana citizens.
Any child care center that transports children or arranges for the transportation of children must be licensed to provide transportation. Licensing regulations can be found at this link: http://www.dss.louisiana.gov/classastandards
All regulations related to transportation are important and in place to assist in protecting the children in your care. It is your responsibility to make certain that all staff members are thoroughly trained in these requirements. Accurate transportation and daily attendance logs are not merely paperwork, but critical components of the facility's child safety program.
Louisiana's families have many expectations for child care, but first on every parent's list is safety. Please review the transportation regulations and make sure all staff members understand the requirements and specific procedures in place at your center and practice them daily. Together we can ensure that child care is safe for every child, everyday.
You may find this information helpful for staff and parents Hot Weather, Unattended Vehicles Can Prove Deadly for Children
posted on the following website:
You can also find more information in a press release sent by DSS last week - www.dss.louisiana.gov/HeatandCars
If you have any questions regarding transportation or other child care licensing issues, please call a Licensing Manager at (225) 342-9905.