Getting to and from early learning services

Depending on whether you’ve chosen an early learning service close to home, family or work, you may have a number of options to get to and from the service.

How can I get to and from my service?

How close an early learning service is may have been one of the criteria for your choice.

Next you need to work out how you are going to get your child to and from your service. This can be hard, especially if you don’t have a car.

Many parents do drive their child to their service, or catch a bus or train, because they drop them off on the way to work.

If you drive, remember that by law your child must be in a car seat that is appropriate for their weight and size.

You may also be able to:

  • share the transport or child minding with another family
  • walk to and from your service together
  • join a “walking bus” – this is where you take turns with other parents, whānau or caregivers to walk with groups of children
  • some services even have a bus or van to pick up children and whānau and drop them home again.

My child's early learning service provides transport.  What do I need to know?

If your child’s early learning service or kōhanga reo has a bus or van to pick up children and drop them home again, they should have policies and practices in place to ensure that all the children’s health and safety needs are met.

These, along with supporting information, should be given to you either at the time of enrolment or prior to transportation beginning. This information includes:

  • what the adult-to-child ratios in the bus or van will be
  • who the adult(s) accompanying the children will be – including any qualifications they may have (teaching, first aid)
  • whether the adult(s) accompanying the children have been safety checked or police vetted
  • supervision arrangements for children in the bus or van while other children are being walked to their door
  • alternative arrangements if parents are not at home when children are to be dropped off
  • contact details of the adult(s) accompanying the children is available to the parents
  • sign-in and sign-out procedures
  • a process to notify the adult(s) collecting children from home if a child is sick or will not attend for any reason
  • a process to make sure that all children to be transported home are collected on time.

Your child’s early learning service or kōhanga reo will also need written permission from you to allow the accompanying adult(s) to sign your child out of the service.

As the early learning service or kōhanga reo requires you to regularly check and confirm the attendance records for your child, an arrangement will need to be put in place to allow this to happen. This will also allow you and the service to share information about your child’s learning.

How do I teach my child about road safety?

Roads are dangerous for children so they need adults to be good role models and teach them about road safety from an early age.

Getting to and from your early learning service is a great time to start doing this.

Tips for baby to 1-year-olds

  • talk to your child about why you are putting them in a child restraint
  • always put on your safety belt and say you are doing this to keep yourself safe
  • get bags and other items out of the car before lifting your child out so they are not left unsupervised
  • get them in and out of the car on the footpath side of the road
  • push the stroller on the house side of the footpath
  • talk about where and why you are crossing the road, and why you chose this point to cross
  • listen to songs and read stories with a road safety focus.

Tips for 2-4-year olds

Keep adding to the tips for babies and 1 year olds:

  • hold their hand while walking with them, and always make sure that your child is on the house side of the footpath
  • use Stop, Look and Listen(external link) to cross the road
  • watch out for driveways – especially those that are hidden from view
  • show your child safe places to play and explain why they are safe
  • explain that driveways and other places that vehicles use are not safe places to play
  • make sure you know where all children are before backing out the car
  • make sure your child wears a safety helmet when using wheeled toys, and always watch them while they are riding these.

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