Childcare is often a wonderful thing. Facilities throughout Georgia are filled with loving staff that offer quality programs for our youth. In most cases, children not only enjoy their time here, but thrive.
Unfortunately, there are some instances when a childcare environment causes injury. This can be the result of a bad situation within an otherwise great facility or a center that has failed to meet state requirements. Whatever the situation that led to the child's injury, parents who find themselves in this situation are likely asking many questions.
Some of the more common questions revolve around how state law affects their situation - ultimately asking if the facility is responsible for the injury. The following information can help.
Are there laws addressing child care centers in Georgia? In short, yes, there are rules and regulations in Georgia that are designed to help better ensure these facilities provide a safe environment for children.
Georgia's Department of Early Care and Learning provides some guidance on state laws that apply to these centers. First, it is helpful to know what types of centers these laws address. An applicable Child Care Learning Center is defined as a place that is operated by an individual or business entity that is paid in exchange for providing group care. The term generally applies to facilities with seven or more children and includes day care centers that were previously licensed by the Department of Human Resources.
What kind of care are these Centers supposed to provide? These facilities are required to provide daily planned programs that vary activities for the children in their care. The activities should help children to develop their social and emotional as well as physical skills.
The agency also notes that these facilities are limited in the amount of time children can be kept in swings, highchairs and other confining equipment. More specifically, children under the age of three cannot be in such equipment for more than one half hour at a time.
What about the people who work at these Centers? Guidelines are also present regarding hiring individuals to work in these centers. Every Director, Employee and Provisional Employees must undergo a records check.
This check can include a criminal records check and fingerprint records check. A recheck can be triggered by a number of events, including if the initial check is five years old or if there is notice that a worker was arrested.
What if my child is injured? If your child is injured while in the care of a child care facility, that facility may be liable for the costs associated with the injury. Holding the center responsible can take a couple of different paths.
One possible path involves reviewing whether the center was violating any of these regulations. Another involves establishing that the center was negligent.
These are just a few of the ways to hold a facility accountable for an injury. If your child was injured, it is a good idea to contact an experienced daycare negligence lawyer. Your lawyer can review your rights and options in this situation, working to better ensure the best interests of your child are protected.