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Cartoon of adult adjusting bike helmet for preschooler.

Step-by-step list of what teachers and caregivers can model and explain to young children.

Children at this age:

  • rely on their parents and caregivers to make safe decisions for them in all environments
  • must be supervised at all times
  • begin to learn road and rail safety skills by watching and copying adults.

Parents, whānau and caregivers will:

  • model safe behaviour on and around roads, driveways and railways
  • supervise children near roads
  • hold a child’s hand when walking near roads and railways
  • ensure children always wear an approved and properly fitted child car restraint before the adult starts a car
  • explain why wearing a child car restraint makes them safer
  • explain how to cross the road and railway
  • check before reversing a car to avoid driveway injuries
  • establish safe play areas away from roads and railways, and provide adult supervision.


The primary learning process involves children:

  • avoiding unsafe road and rail environments
  • following explicit safety practices around roads and railways
  • responding (under adult supervision) to instructions regarding safe and unsafe behaviours on and near roads and railways.


Young walkers experience safety for themselves

Case study

Four-year-old children at Papamoa Kindergarten get supervised experience of walking safely when going to a local park.

Teachers take them through a neighbouring school, along reserve pathways and down a couple of streets. The route minimises risks, with just one street to cross.

There is one adult in front and another at the rear. Everyone is told to link hands, and the children are reminded to stop, look and listen before the group crosses a road together.

“We cross just one road but we cross lots of driveways so we will talk about looking and listening even when you’re just on the footpath, and that you shouldn’t run or push past others,” says teacher Donya Feci.

During these walks, the children learn about keeping themselves and others safe from harm, a leaning outcome of the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki.

Next page:

Checklist: road safety in Years 0-4



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