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Illinois Day Care Center / Child Centers – What Standards Apply for the Care and Supervision of Infants and Toddlers?

By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Illinois and other States, day care centers have a duty to supervise the needs of very young children (infants and toddlers). Families and single parents alike rely on day care centers so that parents can work their jobs or attend school to better themselves. Infants and toddlers, due their age, size, immaturity, and poor judgment need supervision and care commensurate with their needs and abilities.

Pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Code, Title 89 – Social Services – Chapter III Department of Children & Family Services Rules (including licensing standards) Subchapter E (Requirements for Licensure) Part 407 – Section 407.210, Special Requirements for Infants and Toddlers, day care centers must properly train staff members in the care and treatment of infants. In particular, a day care center must have a licensed physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or licenses physician assistant with training in infant / toddler care provide instruction to staff members in the proper health of infants and toddlers.

The day care center must also provide separate space for infants and toddlers to keep them away from older children except in smaller facilities with ten or fewer children. A sink and toilet must be readily available for the infant / toddler program for accessibility and for sanitary needs in caring for infants and toddlers. Electrical cords are deemed to be dangerous and hazards. As such, no extension cords shall be used in areas where children are permitted. Play equipment available to infants and toddlers in the day care center must be free from hazards or dangers to infants. Hazards or dangers would include objects with sharp edges, rough edges, and toxins. Small objects that a toddler or infant could swallow are also consider hazards or dangers. Toys must be duly cleaned and disinfected daily.

There are several regulations regarding food / nutrition, food storage, feeding, and sleeping / napping for day care centers that supervise infants and toddlers.

Day care centers should follow the standards set forth in the Illinois Administrative Code. The health, safety and welfare of each child in the day care center are paramount. Day care centers that repeatedly violate the standards and requirements are putting children including infants and toddlers at greater risk for child personal injuries in the day care setting.

For parents dealing with questionable or unexplained incidents leading to personal injuries in a day care center, it is is often helpful to have the advice and representation from an Illinois child injury lawyer / attorney to review the day care records, rules and regulations, medical records, and bills. Parents of an injured child deserve legal representation to make sure that compensation is duly paid for the benefit of the child and to help prevent injuries or incidents from taking place in the future to other children in the day care center.