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Is a Day Care Center Required to Have Video Surveillance in Place?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by the Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Video Surveillance - Day Care CenterMany day care centers across the nation have video surveillance equipment in place to monitor the children under the care of the day care center.  The video surveillance is also used to monitor the care being provided to the children enrolled in the day care center.  In most States, there is no legal requirement per se that requires a day care center to have the video surveillance in place. Some may even argue that such video surveillance would violate the privacy rights of the children, owner, and / or staff members. When a parent enrolls a child in a day care center, a parent should look for transparency and full disclosure by the day care center.   Video surveillance can go a long way to keeping both the children and staff members in line.  Better yet, if a parent has online access to watch the streaming video live while a child is at a day care center can help put another set of eyes on the children and staff at a day care center.
Ideally, the use of video surveillance serves as a motivator to provide good care and to prevent any incidents from abuse or neglect from taking place.  Unfortunately for some children, despite the presence of video surveillance at the day care center, incidents of abuse and neglect still take place.  This may be because some the video surveillance activities or equipment at the day care center are hidden by the sight and knowledge of the staff members.   At other times, the staff member just forgets that video surveillance equipment is in place.  
While video surveillance equipment is not required in most instances, it is certainly a good tool to have in place.  Parents should ask the day care center the following questions:
* Does the day care center have video surveillance in place?
* What rooms / parts of the facility is equipped with video surveillance?
* Do parents have access to the video surveillance at the facility, live, or online?
* Is the video surveillance saved or maintained for a certain time period or it is just live?
* What is the facility policy and procedure for sharing video surveillance with parents?
In Olathe, Kansas, it was reported that the manager at Kiddin’ Around Day Care Center reported the actions of an employee to the police that were captured on video surveillance.  The employee was accused of recklessly causing great bodily harm to the child and was subsequently arrested.   See Kansas Child Care Provider Caught on Tape – Charged with Injuring Child.  Credit should be given to the manager of this day care center for reporting the incident of alleged abuse and for sharing the video surveillance with law enforcement.
Because of the complexities of child injury cases and the challenge of properly evaluating the cases, a parent should retain the services of a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, guidance, consultation, and legal representation.  A good resource for parents is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, Playground Injuries, School Injuries, Theme Park and Attraction Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.