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Buying the Right Child Care Bus – Features to Consider

Whether your childcare center is large or small, chances are you are on the road every day. Maybe you started with a regular passenger van and now are learning that there is a move away from these to safer modes of transportation. Which means owning the right childcare bus is more important than you think.You will notice many different transportation vehicles when you pull your current vehicle into the school lines to load and unload your children. With so many options available, it can be a bit overwhelming to know what the right fit is for your business. Thankfully, you can make an informed decision by considering the following areas.

Bus vs. Van
While there are many reasons that a childcare bus can be a good investment for your business, the most important is safety. School buses are exponentially safer for transporting children than a van. As defined by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) regulating the manufacture and construction of school buses, vans are considered non-conforming vehicles. This means that while vans are often used as buses, they do not meet all the FMVSS requirements for buses.

It’s important to have a reputable company like Carolina Thomas to assist you through the bus selection process. That’s because while it is illegal for a company to sell a non-conforming vehicle to a customer who is going to use it to transport children to and from a school, there are some buses manufactured and sold that are considered non-conforming vehicles. Are you wondering if this happens? Unfortunately, it does. We were recently at a huge childcare conference and one of our competitors actually brought a non-conforming bus as a demo. Unfortunate but true!

Easy Come, Easy Go
A good childcare bus provides more than six feet of interior headroom so you have full standup room as you are interacting with your precious cargo or helping with seatbelts and car seats. Vans (and some lesser buses) will have you stooped over, which is not as safe. You want easy entry and exiting. You will appreciate handrails for your teachers and children for safe entry and exiting, as well as wider center aisles and wider seats.

Buckle Up
Carolina Thomas buses are fully equipped with seat belts that alternate colors so each child knows visually which is theirs. Our buses have the best seats available in our industry.

Isn’t a Bus a Bus?
Not all buses are created equal – not even close. That’s like saying a childcare center is a childcare center. You know this is not the case. Our buses have backup cameras. Our buses have better and more available warranty, more durable floors and higher quality paint than our competitors’ buses. Our buses have a wider stance than many to offer more solid footing. And our buses come from the only company in North Carolina totally dedicated 100% to buses. Every fiber of our company is dedicated to owners like you that operate buses to safely transport children.

Children’s World Learning Centers
Take Children’s World Learning Centers for example. These family-owned centers are widely considered the premier childcare facilities in the Greenville, NC region. Founders Bill and Toni Walton and sons Blake and Chad are committed to providing state-of-the-art, immaculately maintained learning environments for the children they serve. The Waltons trust Carolina Thomas as their transportation partner for our shared commitment to excellence and safety. 

Decisions, Decisions
At Carolina Thomas, we’re dedicated to helping childcare centers like yours own and operate the safest, most reliable buses in the industry. From sales and service to parts, paint, and graphics, we’re here to help you make the most informed decision for your business. Download our Bus Selection Checklist to get started.

The Waltons Children World Learning Centers

L-R: Blake Walton, William “Bill” Walton & Chad Walton take delivery of a new Thomas MyBus for Children’s World’s fourth center in Greenville, NC.