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Is There a Legal Case Against a Day Care Center for the Failure to Timely Notify a Parent About an Illness or Injury?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Is there a legal case of a day care center failed to notify a parent of an injury and timely fashion? Day care centers at the duty to Carrigan supervise the children enrolled in the program. Under most state day care regulations, there are provisions in the day care center rules that require the facility to kindly notify a parent when there is injury and illness of the child. Often times I am asked, as a Child Injury Lawyer, if the failure to notify a parent of an illness or injury can the the basis of a case or claim to bring against the day care center. It is very important that day care centers following the state mandated rules and regulations as well as the facilitity’s own policies and procedures. As such, a day care center should timely notify the parents when there is an incident or injury involving the child; however the failure to timely notify the parent of an incident or injury does not necessarily form the basis of a viable civil claim or case against the day care center by the parent seeking compensation for the negligent or bad conduct by the day care center. There are essentially four elements to a day care center claim or case as follows:

1. Duty. This refers to the responsibilities of the day care center to provide a reasonably safe learning environment for the children. If the child is duly enrolled in the day care center, the day care center has a duty to provide care, support, and supervision. It also has a duty to maintain the facility and grounds in a reasonably safe condition for the children.

2. Breach of Duty. This refers to the failure of the day care center to carry out its duties. The breach may involve the failure to do something altogether or in the alternative the negligent performance of a duty.

3. Causation. This refers to the link between the Breach of Duty and the last element Damages. In other words, there is some relationship between the Breach of Duty and the Damages. Simply stated, the Breach of Duty was the proximate cause of the Damages.

4. Damages. This refers to the injuries or harmed done to the child as a result of the Breach of Duty. In some instances, the day care center got lucky even in the face of complete and utter negligence. For example, let’s just say that a day care center leaves the front door open and the front gate open during the day. The day care center is located next to a busy highway. This negligence was a recipe for danger and serious injuries to a child. Fortunately, no child slipped out the door. While the day care center definitely was negligent or careless, the bad acts did not lead to any appreciable injuries. Of course, the case would be much different if a 3 year old walked out of the day care center and into the street under this fact scenario.

It is important to discuss any questions about the quality of care and the viability of a potential case with a Child Injury Lawyer. Another good resource is the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. It has chapters on Medical Treatment and Insurance, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injuries.

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