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Victorian family day care scheme providers’ knowledge of child restraint best practice.
In Victoria nearly half of the population under 12 years of age uses family day care services. Providers of family day care services are in a position to provide important information on the best practice of child transportation to family day care educators, and families accessing family day care. Our study, conducted in November 2011, aimed to investigate family day care service providers’ level of knowledge of best practice for transporting children in cars. A sample of Family Day Care Victoria service providers (n=48) completed a survey on child restraint knowledge, practices and attitudes. Of the providers surveyed, 98% stated that they knew the law regarding child restraint usage. A high proportion offered professional and practical support (92%) as well as educational resources (94%) to family day care educators with regards to safe transportation. However, when asked to provide the minimum age at which children are able to use a specific restraint type only 81% correctly identified the minimum age for booster seats, 75% for forward-facing restraints, 40% for the front seat, and 58% for adult seat belts. These results indicate that more effort is required to support family day care services, which are required to ensure that transport is suitable and safe for all children. Family day care services act as information conduits to families with young children, and additionally educate and train family day care educators travelling daily with young children in their charge.This would ensure all children are provided optimal levels of protection whenever they travel in cars.