Federal regulations on the transportation of children to Head Start centers pose a budget challenge to many centers, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The rules, issued in 2001 by the Department of Health and Human Services, require that child transportation to the centers be on school buses or similar vehicles that have child restraints and adults serving as bus monitors.
Many centers have received multiple waivers of the regulations; the centers argue that providing restraints and monitors would increase costs, reduce seating capacity, or create problems with the school districts that often provide the buses, without clear improvements in safety.
Of Head Start centers that have implemented the regulations, 44 percent had experienced “large or very large increases” in transportation costs as a result, the July 27 GAO report said.
A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 2006 edition of Education Week