Child Care Centers may transport children in their care in a vehicle of their choice. If they choose a vehicle that is designed and constructed to accommodate more than ten (10) passengers, they MUST comply with Indiana Code 12-17.2-6-2(d) and 20-27-9-12 partially stated below.
Indiana Code 20-27-9-12(c-e) requires that if a Child Care Center chooses to transport children in a vehicle designed and constructed for the accommodation of more than ten (10) passengers they MUST transport in a “Special Purpose Bus”, or a school bus. They may also transport children using a public transportation system if the bus is designed to carry at least 20 passengers.
Indiana Code 12-17.2-2-1.5(d) requires that a person who transports children who are in the care of the Child Care Center on a public highway (as defined in IC 9-25-2-4) within or outside Indiana in a vehicle designed and constructed for the accommodation of more than ten (10) passengers MUST comply with the same requirements set forth in IC 20-27-9-12 for a public elementary or secondary school or a preschool operated by a school corporation.
“Special Purpose Bus” (defined):
Indiana Code 20-27-2-10 defines a “special purpose bus” as any motor vehicle designed and constructed:
- For the accommodation of more than ten passengers;
- That meets the federal school bus safety requirements under 49 U.S.C.30125 except:
a. The stop signal arm is prohibited
b. Flashing red and amber lamps are prohibited.
Child Care Centers (responsibilities):
If a Child Care Center owns or uses a vehicle that meets the definition of a “Special Purpose Bus”, or a school bus, it is their responsibility to have that vehicle annually inspected prior to transporting children.
In addition, anytime a Child Care Center purchases a new “Special Purpose Bus” for the purpose of transporting children, they MUST notify the Indiana State Police at the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and present the bus for inspection prior to using it.
Day Care Centers as defined in 20-27-9-11 are not the same as Child Care Centers and are not subject to 12-17.2-2-1.5(d). But if they choose to transport in a Special Purpose Bus or a School Bus then those vehicles are required to be annually inspected by the Indiana State Police.
Unlicensed Registered Child Care Ministries are not subject to 12-17.2-2-1.5(d) unless under 12-17.2-6-1 they choose to be licensed, then they would be subject to 12-17.2-2-1.5(d) and if they choose to transport in a Special Purpose Bus or a School Bus, then those vehicles are required to be annually inspected by the Indiana State Police.