By Keith Kerfeld, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Day Care Center Regulations – Minnesota
In Minnesota, parents rely on day care centers to provide for the supervision of children during the work day. It is important that each child is cared for in a clean and safe educational environment. The facility should be well maintained and frequently inspected to make sure that all repairs are timely and all hazards are kept out of the reach or access of the children. In Minnesota, child care centers / day care centers are governed by Chapter 245A – Human Services Licensing, Minnesota Statutes. It is interesting to note how the term “supervision” is defined. Pursuant to Section 245A.02 – Definitions, “supervision” is defined as the following:
For purposes of child care centers, “supervision” means when a program staff person is within sight and hearing of a child at all times so that the program staff can intervene to protect the health and safety of the child. When an infant is placed in a crib room to sleep, supervision occurs when a staff person is within sight or hearing of the infant. When supervision of a crib room is provided by sight or hearing, the center must have a plan to address the other supervision component.
In addition to having a well maintained facility and trained staff members, supervision is truly key to keeping the children safe in the day care center environment. Child care providers should fall all of the rules and regulations set forth in the Minnesota Statutes as well as any applicable local laws, rules, and procedures. Furthermore, there are other key components that a child care provider should keep in mind: 1. Due Diligence and 2. Common Sense.
The terms “due diligence” and “common sense” are not defined by Minnesota Statutes but are concepts that are very important in any day care setting. A child care provider should dedicate himself or herself to the job and the task at hand. Do more than what is minimally required or expected. As for common sense, a child care provider should be mindful of the safety and well being of the children at all times. A child care provider can use his or her own common sense to remove hazards and otherwise keep the children safe in the day care center.
Unfortunately for some children in Minnesota day care centers, the staff in place failed to provide the necessary supervision, due diligence, and / or common sense to keep the children safe. As a result of these actions or inactions, children are injured. If the injury was preventable and foreseeable to some extent, then there may be a claim or case to pursue on behalf of the injured child. Under these circumstances, a parent should contact a Minnesota Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, and legal representation.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.