Bradford Tioga Head Start

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Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. classes have started and for some of our centers, this means that three and four year olds will be riding buses to get to school; some for the very first time. Coincidentally, the week of September 17th through 23th is also Child Passenger Safety week. At Bradford-Tioga Head Start (BTHS), we strive to ensure a child’s safety every time he or she boards or exits a Head Start bus.

Did you know...

  • Every BTHS Driver and Bus Monitor upon hire are trained on safe boarding and exiting practices and procedures, child tracking paperwork, correct buckling of children, and other safety measures.
  • There is always at least two paid staff present at all times with the Head Start children on the bus.
  • Staff walks with the children to and from the bus when loading and unloading.
  • Staff are trained to implement safety practices.

Did you know when boarding the bus…

  • The Driver physically checks off each child’s name as a child steps onto the bus.
  • The Bus Monitor physically checks off each child’s name when a child is buckled into the safety device.
  • Comparisons are made to ensure all checklists match between the driver and bus monitor.

Did you know when exiting the bus…

  • The Driver physically checks off each child’s name as the child steps off the bus.
  • The Bus Monitor physically checks off each child’s name as the child exits the bus.
  • Once every child is off the bus, the Bus Monitor does a sweep of the bus (going from the front to the back and the back to the front) looking in, on and under each seat to ensure the bus is clear.
  • Comparisons are made to ensure the checklists match between the Driver and Bus Monitor.
  • Once every child is off the bus, the Driver turns off the ignition, walks to the back of the bus, looking in, on and under each seat to ensure the bus is clear. Each bus is equipped with an electronic “Child Check-Mate System,” which is designed to ensure no child is left on the bus. Once the Driver is at the rear of the bus, he/she pushes the button to deactivate the system and then completes the sweep of the bus.

Child Passenger Safety week also urges parents and caregivers to make sure that car seats and booster seats are correct for a child’s age and size and properly installed in a vehicle. For children under 2 years old, the best protection is to place the child in a rear-facing safety seat until they have reached 2 years old or until they have outgrown the maximum weight and height restrictions.

If a child is over two, he or she should be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness until they have reached the highest weight or height allowed by the seat manufacturer. Once he or she has outgrown their forward-facing seat, the child should be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap and shoulder belts fit properly. Typically, that happens when a child is either 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years of age. All children under age 13 should ride in the back seat.  For specific information for you and your child, you may contact your local police or state police.

By educating children and families on the importance of occupant protection and by showing them how seriously Bradford-Tioga Head Start is about ensuring their safety on our buses, they will make buckling up a habit for life! 

Photo Caption:       Blossburg 2 Classroom Aide/Bus Monitor, Corinne Tokarz, is shown buckling in one of her new young passengers on his first day of attending Bradford-Tioga Head Start.