New rules aimed at keeping children safe on buses to and from early childhood centres came into force yesterday, March 1, to help improve national regulations. 

Changes to the Education and Care Services National Regulations include a requirement for someone other than the driver to be present while children get on and off the bus, a mandatory full check of the vehicle after all children have disembarked, services notifying the regulator if they provide regular transportation, and keeping records detailing exactly how children are accounted for.

The Palaszczuk Government’s Look Before You Lock safety campaign was first launched in 2020 following the tragic death of a young boy in Cairns, and warns parents, carers, and service providers to be vigilant and always check the seats before leaving a vehicle.

“Families need to have peace of mind that when they send their children off to school, kindy, or day care, they will come home safe,” said Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, Grace Grace MP.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government called for these new national early childhood transport amendments to improve children’s safety.

“There were changes to the regulations in October 2020, but we’ve been pushing for further improvements, and I’m pleased to see them come into force.

“The Department of Education, as the Regulatory Authority in Queensland, does not hesitate to take serious action – up to and including prosecution – when providers fail to ensure children’s health and safety.

“It’s not just about regulations and regulatory action: we’ve been rolling out new radio and social media reminders during Term 1 as part of our Look Before You Lock safety campaign.

“It only takes one shortcut on safety to have devastating, lifelong consequences and that’s why look before you lock needs to be a habit, every single time.”

New Look Before You Lock radio and social media reminders are rolling out across Queensland throughout Term 1, 2023.

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