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TRANSPORTATION WORKING GROUP: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Background Document. Panel Discussion: Advisory Council Subcommittee of Business/Civic & Contract Relationship March 30, 2012. Background Information.

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Transportation working group analysis and recommendations background document

TRANSPORTATION WORKING GROUP: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONSBackground Document

Panel Discussion:

Advisory Council Subcommittee of Business/Civic & Contract Relationship March 30, 2012


Background information

Background Information

  • Transportation Working Group (TWG) was composed of a cross section of different stakeholders:

    • Small, independent, and large transportation providers;

    • Representative from the Registry of Motor Vehicles;

    • Representatives from Head Start;

    • Representatives from Child Care Centers;

    • Representatives from YMCA; and

    • Representatives from EEC.

  • TWG was charged with reviewing the EEC’s recent changes to transportation regulations (December 12, 2011), discuss its impact on the field, and proffer recommendations to the Board of Education.


  • Twg s participants

    TWG’s Participants

    • Edward Madaus, Guild of St. Agnes

    • George Richardson, Alliance Services of Metro Boston

    • Margaret Rohanna, RMV

    • Mal Hughes, Massachusetts Head Start Association

    • Ardith Wieworka, Child Development and Education, Inc.

    • Bill Restuccia, Child Development and Education, Inc. and Transpro, LLC

    • Liz Acosta, Transpro, LLC

    • Bill Power, AMBTA

    • Debbie Amaral, YMCA

    • Evelyn Tobin, Massachusetts Alliance of YMCA

    • George Flynn, NRT Bus, Inc.

    • JoAnn Howell, Community Teamwork, Inc.

    • Karen M. Pac, YMCA Southcoast

    • Pamela Henry, AMBTA

    • Gail Perry, EEC

    • Carmel Sullivan, EEC

    • John Swanson, EEC


    Twg s meetings

    TWG’s Meetings

    • TWG met four times over the past three months to address the following topics:

      • January 6, 2012

        • Management Responsibility

        • Parent Notification Requirement

    • January 20, 2012

      • Adult Monitor Requirement

      • Vehicle Monitoring Devices

      • Transportation Rates

  • February 3, 2012

    • Passenger Logs

    • Secondary Vehicle Inspections

    • Transportation Performance Standards

  • March 9, 2012

    • Summary Review Meeting


  • Management responsibility

    Management Responsibility

    • Provider is responsible for full compliance with transportation laws/policies, regardless of how transportation is provided.

      Basis:

      • There must be an assumption of responsibility for the child while the child is being transported to and from the child care program as well as during child care hours.


    Management responsibility twg s discussion points

    Management ResponsibilityTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Transportation Provider has first contact with child during the day.

    • Insurance concerns with Transportation Providers: umbrella coverage is extremely expensive to protect from lawsuits.

    • Wherever funding falls should be responsible; asking Child Care Providers to assume responsibility would be difficult.


    Management responsibility twg s discussion points cont

    Management ResponsibilityTWG’s Discussion Points (cont…)

    • Challenges for Transportation Providers:

      • Cannot leave children in vehicle while escorting other children into programs (especially if programs are located on second or third floor).

      • Difficult navigating so many traffic rules (i.e., 3 minute idling rule).


    Management responsibility twg s recommendation

    Management ResponsibilityTWG’s Recommendation

    • Anyone who contracts and receives money is responsible for the child.


    Parent notification requirement

    Parent Notification Requirement

    • Providers shall notify parents immediately if/when a child does not arrive at child care within 30 minutes of his/her scheduled arrival time, unless parents have previously notified the program of the child’s absence or alternative arrival time.

      Basis:

      • Ensures that children are accounted for and promotes accurate attendance. Consistent with best practices.


    Parent notification requirement twg s discussion points

    Parent Notification RequirementTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Provider should not be responsible for notification if the provider does not have custody of the child.

    • Concerns with parent availability: some parents’ phones are disconnected, parents do not provide emergency contact information, etc.

    • Transportation Provider’s concerns with insurance for their drivers:

      • If driver uses phone to notify Provider immediately of child’s absence, could receive a $500 fine for using phone while driving vehicle – goes against driver’s record.


    Parent notification requirement twg s recommendations

    Parent Notification RequirementTWG’s Recommendations

    • Change language in the Policy’s first paragraph from “Parents and guardians are strongly urged to promptly notify the child care program that their child will be absent or will arrive later than scheduled that day” to“Parents and guardians must promptly notify the child care program that their child will be absent or will arrive later than scheduled that day.”

    • Adopt a “three strikes and you’re out approach” – this would place the onus on the child’s parent(s).


    Parent notification requirement twg s recommendations cont

    Parent Notification RequirementTWG’s Recommendations (cont…)

    • Delete the Policy’s third paragraph in its entirety:

      • “For any child who is privately transported or is transported on a vehicle supplied by a public school and who fails to arrive at the child care program within thirty minutes of his or her scheduled arrival time, the provider should contact the parent and/or the school to determine the child’s location, unless notified by the parent or the school that the child will be absent or will arrive later than scheduled that day.”


    Vehicle safety adult monitor

    Vehicle Safety: Adult Monitor

    • In addition to the driver, an adult monitor is required – based on the number of children, ages, length of routes. The monitor shall be seated in a manner to ensure proper supervision and observation of activities.

      Basis:

      • Ensures that children are supervised during transport and provides second set of “eyes” for driver compliance. Consistent with best practices.


    Vehicle safety adult monitor twg s discussion points

    Vehicle Safety: Adult MonitorTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Programs have different requirements for adult monitors (i.e., YMCA always requires an adult monitor on the bus).

    • Monitors come at an additional cost:

      • Need to train monitors.

      • Monitors take up additional seats – one less child to transport on vehicle.

    • Cheaper to install a monitoring device than to hire a monitor.


    Vehicle safety adult monitor twg s recommendations

    Vehicle Safety: Adult MonitorTWG’s Recommendations

    • If monitors are required, prefer to only have monitors for the age group of children that are too young to get out on their own (infants and toddlers) – however, additional funding would be needed.

    • Add language about an electronic monitoring device (child reminder system) if no monitor is available as a confirmation that the vehicle was verified.

      • More affordable to install a vehicle monitoring device than to hire a monitor.


    Child safety vehicle monitoring devices

    Child Safety: Vehicle Monitoring Devices

    • All vehicles designed to transport 6+ children shall be equipped with monitoring devices approved by the State that prompt staff to inspect. This is notrequired for vehicles that only transport school aged children, unless the children are developmentally or physically disabled or on vehicles that are only used for occasional field trips or other similar trips.

      Basis:

      • Ensures that no children are inadvertently left on vehicle. Ensures that drivers physically walk through vehicle as required.


    Child safety vehicle monitoring devices twg s discussion points

    Child Safety: Vehicle Monitoring DevicesTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Vehicle monitoring devices are not 100% effective – they are subject to human error and can be circumvented by drivers.

    • Zonar – monitoring system that was not effective.

    • Checkmate System – most common system installed in vehicles.


    Child safety vehicle monitoring devices twg s recommendation

    Child Safety: Vehicle Monitoring DevicesTWG’s Recommendation

    • If vehicle monitoring devices are required, EEC should facilitate purchasing by providing a vendor for a reduced rate for the devices.


    Child safety passenger log

    Child Safety: Passenger Log

    • The driver shall carry and complete a passenger log for each route, identifying the name of each child transported, the time picked up, the time dropped off and initialed by the educator or parent/guardian. The driver shall sign the passenger log at the conclusion of the route, certifying completion of the inspection of each seat, surface area, etc. If a monitor is required on the vehicle, the driver shall give the passenger log to the monitor (or additional reviewer, if no monitor required), who shall physically inspect the vehicle in the same fashion and sign off.

      Basis:

      • Ensures that no children are inadvertently left on vehicle. Ensures that drivers physically walk through vehicle as required and that vehicle is safe and in operable condition.


    Child safety passenger log twg s discussion points

    Child Safety: Passenger LogTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Getting parental signatures is time consuming (especially for those stops with multiple children).

    • Generates an enormous amount of paperwork.

    • Signature vs. Initialing – what is best practice?


    Child safety passenger log twg s discussion points1

    Child Safety: Passenger LogTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Difficulty getting parents’ signatures – some are so busy, they don’t have time to sign log.

    • Could get complicated with parents that do not speak English as primary language.


    Child safety passenger log twg s recommendations

    Child Safety: Passenger LogTWG’s Recommendations

    • Include language that states the following:

      “EEC expects that the Transportation Provider and the System or the Early Education and Care Licensed Provider, as appropriate, shall agree upon the form of the passenger log to reduce duplication.”

    • Obtaining parent/guardian signatures should be considered a best practice not a requirement.


    Child safety secondary vehicle inspection

    Child Safety: Secondary Vehicle Inspection

    • Immediately upon dropping off the last child, the driver shall physically walk through the vehicle; inspect all seat surfaces, under all seats and in all compartments or recesses in the vehicle’s interior; sign the passenger log, with driver’s full name and time, indicating that each and every child is unloaded; and if a monitor is required on the vehicle, the driver shall give the passenger log to the monitor (or additional reviewer, if no monitor required), who shall physically inspect the vehicle in the same fashion and sign off.

      Basis:

      • Ensures that no children are inadvertently left on vehicle. Ensures that drivers physically walk through vehicle as required and that vehicle is safe and in operable condition.


    Child safety secondary vehicle inspection twg s discussion points

    Child Safety: Secondary Vehicle InspectionTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Question about the interpretation of “immediately”:

      • Some had literal interpretation, which caused issues with traffic and police.

    • What if driver brings vehicle home? How do you ensure that driver has second person check vehicle?

    • Creative solutions: bus drivers meet at a specific location and conduct a cross-check of each other’s vehicles.


    Child safety secondary vehicle inspection twg s recommendation

    Child Safety: Secondary Vehicle InspectionTWG’s Recommendation

    • Change the language from “immediately” to “when safety allows” - conducting a post-trip inspection immediately after the last child is dropped off can be dangerous as there is not always a safe place to do this.


    Transportation performance standards

    Transportation Performance Standards

    • Develop customized transportation performance standards, based upon those created by the Human Service Transportation (HST) Office of EOHHS, to be incorporated into all EEC contracts for transportation services. Standards must be adhered to by all transportation providers and are applicable to all Family Child Care Systems/Providers.

      Basis:

      • Provides defined expectations of transportation services and responsibilities of contractors and subcontractors for transportation services.


    Transportation performance standards twg s discussion points

    Transportation Performance StandardsTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Monitors:

      • Trainings in CPR and first aid could be challenging, especially if Provider has volunteers as monitors.

    • Emergency, Accident and Safety Response:

      • Concern about having the driver proceed immediately to emergency facility if facility is within one minute or less travel time.

    • Insurance:

      • Concern that some insurance companies will not even provide $1 million in coverage.


    Transportation performance standards twg s recommendations

    Transportation Performance StandardsTWG’s Recommendations

    • The annual CORI reports for drivers are a duplicative expense:

      • The RMV 7D licenses must be renewed each year and, as part of the renewal process, a review of driving records and CORI reports.

    • CPR/first aide requirement is costly for both driver and monitor:

      • Make it mandatory for only the driver to be trained in CPR/first aide.


    Transportation performance standards twg s recommendations cont

    Transportation Performance StandardsTWG’s Recommendations (cont…)

    • Emergency, Accident and Safety Response:

      • Remove the following language: “If an emergency facility (i.e., hospital, Police Depart., Fire Dept., etc.) is known to be staffed with emergency response personnel and is within one minute or less travel time of the driver’s location, the driver must proceed immediately to that emergency facility and notify the Transportation Provider of where the driver is proceeding.”

      • Add the following language: “If an emergency facility (i.e., hospital, Police Depart., Fire Dept., etc.) is known to be staffed with emergency response personnel and is within one minute or less travel time of the driver’s location, the driver must immediately call 911 and then notify the Transportation Provider and give his/her exact location and request emergency assistance (EMT, ambulance, state/local police, Fire Department, etc.).


    Transportation provider rates

    Transportation Provider Rates

    • There has been only one rate increase in the past 20 years.

    • There has been only two studies done on transportation costs in the past 10 years:

      • The CAYL Institute

      • Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation

    • Current rate is $9 per child.


    Transportation provider rates twg s discussion points

    Transportation Provider RatesTWG’s Discussion Points

    • Difficult to hire quality drivers: tough job, $13/hour, no benefits, high turnover rate.

    • No profit it the business: pour lots of money into the vehicles for maintenance, insurance rates are high, etc.

    • What do other state agencies pay for transportation costs? What do other states pay for transportation costs?


    Transportation provider rates twg s discussion points cont

    Transportation Provider RatesTWG’s Discussion Points (cont…)

    • The four greatest costs for Transportation Providers:

      • (1) Payroll

      • (2) Gas

      • (3) Workman’s Compensation

      • (4) Insurance


    Transportation provider rates twg s recommendations

    Transportation Provider RatesTWG’s Recommendations

    • For quality transportation, $20 per child.

    • EEC should conduct town meetings between now and the next Board meeting on the impacts of transportation rate changes.


    Policy and research committee comments

    Policy and Research Committee Comments

    • The policies and discussion points of the TWG were summarized for the Committee at the March 5, 2012 meeting.

    • Members from the Committee suggested that EEC provide the Board with information regarding costs of quality transportation: the optimal number of children that can be served and the types of children eligible to benefit from transportation. 


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