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California Day Care Centers / Child Care Centers: What Injuries / Incidents Are Required to be Reported to the Department of Social Services?

By Scott A. Marks, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


California day care centers / child care centers are regulated by the State of California – Health and Human Services Agency – Department of Social Services. The California Child Care Regulations cover a wide area of matters including but not limited to operation, maintenance, supervision, and enrollment. The regulations can be accessed online at California Child Care Regulations.

When an incident or injury takes place in a California child care center, the facility has a duty under the California Child Care Center Regulations to report the incident / injury to the California Department of Social Services via fax or a telephone call within the next business day of operation. Within 7 days of the incident, a written report must be submitted to the Department. The following personal injuries / incidents must be reported to the Department of Social Services:

* any injury to any child in the child care center that requires medical treatment;

* any death taking place at the child care center regardless of the cause of death;

* any unusual incidents or child absence that threatens the physical or emotional
health or safety of any child.

* any suspected signs or observations of physical or psychological abuse of any child;

* any epidemic outbreaks (i.e. flu, Tuberculosis, Swine Flue, Chicken Pox, etc…)

* any incidents of poisonings;

* castastophes, fires, or explosions.

The report must contain the following information:

* child’s name, age, sex and date of enrollment / admission to the child care center;

* date and the nature (type) of event;

* name of physician, medical findings, and medical treatment (if any); and

* disposition or outcome of the incident.

It is important for California Child Care Centers to comply with these and other regulations. The reporting requirements provide valuable information to the Department of Social Services to monitor and evaluate incidents of injuries and monitor the health and safety records of the child care centers.

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