By Robert Fernicola, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In New Jersey, child care centers and day care centers are regulated by the Department of Human Resources and the Child Care Licensing Laws. There are specific rules / regulations pertaining to field trips and keeping track of children in and outside of the day care centers under the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C. Chapter 10: 10:122-4.3.).
What is required of the day care center as to attendance and keeping track of the children?
Each day care center must develop and put in place a Bureau-approved method of tracking children as to location and safety at all times while under the supervision of the day care center. This includes but is not limited to the transfer of supervision of the children during arrival time and departure time.
What training is required as to the tracking of children?
The day care center is required to train all staff members as to the method utilized to track children. As such, if the approved method is a checklist, all staff members must be trained as to how to use and document the check list.
Is there a minimum number of staff members required to accompany children on a day care center field trip?
Yes, there is a minimum requirement of two staff members who must attend the field trip. In addition, the facility has a duty to comply with other staff / child ration requirements when on a field trip.
What is the purpose of these rules and regulations?
Like many other rules and regulations, the purpose of these regulations is to promote the proper supervision and safety of the children. A simple checklist that is completed correctly can help prevent and avoid children being left behind on field trips or left at the facility with no supervision.
There have been far too many incidents involving injury or death to children who have not been properly supervised or accounted for on field trips. The consistent compliance with these regulations is a vital part of the operation of a New Jersey day care center.
You can read more about these and other regulations at Chapter 122 – Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers – State of New Jersey Department of Human Resources.