15-passenger van daycare vent


New member
I meant to post this a few days ago, then YESTERDAY a 15-passenger van crashed carrying a bunch of kids, babies to age 8 or so (and I think they had more people than seats). An aide died, and many of the kids were in critical condition. This was in Kentucky. How many injuries and deaths will it take to do something? This is an actual center daycare, not a home. (And one of its branches was prohibited from transporting kids b/c it left a kid in a hot van). So this branch, it was OK to just cram a bunch of babies and kids into this van? Gee.

I noticed last week a daycare in town (park district) take a bunch of preschool kids on an outing in such a van. Just in adult seatbelts.

So, if you want a summer camp or daycare around here, you have to check how they transport children. So many of them I don't want to use b/c it's a 15-passenger van and they just stick preschool kids in them. If the big van is what's available and there truly isn't an option for a school bus or mini-bus for kids, at least restrain these kids properly!
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CPST Instructor
I interviewed a home care provider a few weeks ago and the interview went great, til she told me about all their field trips and I asked to see the van and she showed me a van full of WAY, WAY expired seats and looked at me like I was crazy when I started explaining why that wasn't ok.

When I emailed her to thank her for her time and tell her we decided on another provider, I also included some info and said I'd be happy to help her through the community program I run. She replied and didn't even mention it.

How can DCPs not realize what a MASSIVE liability that is? If you're transporting kids unsafely and one of them gets hurt, every one of those parents is going to sue the ever loving daylights out of you.


CPST Instructor
Yeah, I've carefully chosen child care providers who do not do any field trips. Even our school district now only uses the busses because of liability. I don't for the life of me understand how child care providers are OK with the sort of HUGE liability that comes with transporting a group of kids somewhere. Completely aside from the car seat stuff, is the whole risk of something happening to them there, supervising 6 or 12 kids or whatever in a public place is different.

I'm totally terrified about this because one summer I worked at a child care center (in the school age room) and the preschool staff LEFT A CHILD BEHIND on one of our field trips. He was thankfully found by a friend of the family (we were close by at a park) who called his Mom. So yes, his MOM knew before the center did!!


Ambassador - CPS Technician
EmmaCPST said:
How can DCPs not realize what a MASSIVE liability that is? If you're transporting kids unsafely and one of them gets hurt, every one of those parents is going to sue the ever loving daylights out of you.

THIS is what if don't get! I am how I am for this EXACT reason. I was a dcp when I found cso and nothing I do with the kids is as dangerous as putting them in my vehicle.

That crash sounds awful. I don't get it, I just don't get it. How can you be so careless? :(


New member
:eek: Stuff like this is why I am perfectly okay with driving my 2-3 year old to pre-school myself. Because at least I know that in the off chance that we are in an accident that he is properly restrained...

Just doesn't really give you a warm fuzzy feeling to leave your child in the care of others. Sad really...


Well-known member
DS's daycare has these vans. Two are newer and have shoulder belts but one is older with only lap belts :thumbsdown:. They have backless boosters for the kids who ride in the two with shoulder belts, DS rides in a RSTV. He'll never be permitted to ride in the lap only van!


New member
My son (5) just took his first BIG field trip, to the zoo downtown. Almost an hour away on highways. I was very nervous but I let him go because it was a school bus (and I talked about how to sit on one). :) That seemed like a huge overkill of a trip for such young kids, ages 5-9.

I wasn't at all nervous about the trip itself. He could go to the moon and my only worry is the transportation part. He's probably better chaperoned with camp, with kids his age and counselors, than with me, trying to keep track of the squirmy baby, running toddler and fast preschooler, yikes!
Unless it's swimming, then I'm back in the camp of "why would they want such responsibility?" The one day he swam so far he had a life jacket. Basically it's just transportation and water that are freaky for me. If he got lost somewhere, etc. it wouldn't mean instant death, but a crash or drowning could.


New member
I finally got an answer from our local police department! It doesn't seem to be illegal to transport little kids in big vans due to a formula with the van's weight. OK.

But it could be a "liability" for my 6-year-old to be in a booster in one because they don't know if my seat has been in an accident, and they can't really ensure every kid is in a booster when going somewhere, logistically. OK. But I'm shaking my head at this. So they do nothing and use the adult seatbelt?

I am still waiting to hear from the camp itself, if it can "accommodate him" by letting me provide a booster or drive him to the filed trips myself. Maybe they won't let him participate, I don't know. If that's the case there is a shorter 2 hour camp (same place) that does not travel, and he can do that.

This link below is my worst nightmare. I know it was in the 80's. But still. It makes me sick. It's right by our house. Lots of abdominal and head injuries. And the vans in use today DO have some spots with lap belts only.


Senior Community Member
It's stories like these that make me thankful for where DD went to preschool last year. One of the first things I asked was about transportation for field trips. The owner showed me their 15 passenger van, explained that any kids under 4yrs or 40lbs rode harnessed (she knew to install the harnessed seats in the lap belt only positions) and any kids over 4/40 rode in HBB. Not ideal of course, but so much better than what I've seen/heard other places!! She was totally fine with me either transporting DD or providing my own seat and allowing me to install it in the van myself. :love:
All her drivers also took a child passenger safety course and she meets regularly with a local CPST at the police dept. (I know him and have worked many checks with him and he's great!)


New member
I think its the parents responsibilty to be checking how kids are transported and if they are transported. I run a dayhome and take kids all over the place swimming included could something happen of course but something could happen at my house as well. I am quite confident in my ability to look after and take 6plus kids pretty much any place that I feel up too. The kids I watch also know to listen and not run away. I actually have all the children I watch more safely restrained in my vehicle than their own parents do in their vehicles so it really depends on the person.

I think there needs to be more education about carseats period maybe it should be part of most things that involve children. So you take childcare courses it teaches you about carseats, doctors should learn, nurses should learn, firefighters, police, child social workers. I mean the main reason for all the misuse is there is no education.

I wouldn't send my kid to a camp or anything that transported that way with little kids.


New member
The story in the OP is just incredibly sad all around. Horrible horrible horrible.

My DCP does not do field trips, but she has already said that she'll talk to me first about how to transport kids before she does anything.

On a side note with the liability and general safety thing....my husband runs a little pet store side business out of the same building that he runs his commercial plumbing business from. It is in a heavy commercial area and the property adjacent to us has trucks and forklifts running all over the place. So a preschool calls up wanting to bring in 15 preschoolers for a tour of the petshop and got all upset when my husband said no. He is not comfortable having 15 preschoolers in a heavy commercial area with heavy equipment and large stacks of pipes and culverts and plastic water tanks. The teacher couldn't understand why he said no. :(


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
How can DCPs not realize what a MASSIVE liability that is? If you're transporting kids unsafely and one of them gets hurt, every one of those parents is going to sue the ever loving daylights out of you.

Even more of a liability once someone notifies them of the risk in writing, along with the various warnings from NHTSA and such...


New member
I am crafting a letter of the risks and will present it to my park district, nudging them to get safer vehicles.

I just wanted to make sure it wasn't illegal to transport how they are, but since it's apparently not...I still have a case. If anything, vans from the stone age surely need to be upgraded! MOST of their programs use buses with their own drivers.


New member
That is so sad :( Do you have a link to a news article about it? I'd like to send it to one of my brothers as well as some other people I know. I guess I could just see what comes up with google.

eta: Found some articles. I hope your letter raises awareness and puts them into action, bnsnyde.


Moderator - CPS Technician
Nimommyof2;2290704 I think there needs to be more education about carseats period maybe it should be part of most things that involve children. [/QUOTE said:
You are right, but it isn't just car seats. For example, there are certification courses specifically for driving 15 passenger vans.


New member
You are right, but it isn't just car seats. For example, there are certification courses specifically for driving 15 passenger vans.

Welll.....15 including driver does not require a Commercial Driver's License. 15 plus driver (total 16) requires one. Some states require Taxi/chaffeur and I know CA has a different class for carrying passengers if the load does not qualify for fed CDL standars.

Class C -- Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.


I'm assuming (and you know what they say about assuming) that's what you are talking about, unless there is some other kind of certification out there.

ETA: I see what you mean, for instance Louisianna has a special certification, but again, that is up to the states to decide if they want something special done or not. My state requires no special training or certification to drive a 15 passenger van under any circumstance.

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