Children injured at childcare

Wednesday 4 April 2018
Tina Toutzaris-Sabo

Child care is essential for many working parents. We entrust childcare centres to look after our children and keep them safe from harm. But unfortunately things don’t always go according to plan.

If your child is injured at day-care, the centre must inform you as soon as possible and complete an incident form. Injured children that make a full recovery will not have a legal claim. However if your child has ongoing problems resulting from an injury at childcare, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Making a complaint

Regardless of whether you have a legal claim, concerned parents should raise their issues with the childcare centre, child’s educator or the director. Depending on the nature of your concern, a complaint can also be made to the Department of Education and Training who will assess the complaint and investigate. The Department will appoint an authorised officer who will always investigate any complaints where a child’s health, safety or well-being may be compromised.

Legal claim

A childcare centre owes a ‘duty of care’ to the children in their supervision. If you can prove that this duty of care has been breached, you may be able to claim compensation.

In order to pursue a legal claim against the childcare centre, you must be able to prove the following:

  • The child has suffered a “significant injury” as defined by law, and as determined by a qualified medical examiner.
  • The child’s injury was caused by the negligence or fault of the childcare centre or those employed by the centre.

As children love to play, run and explore, we need to mindful that not all injuries will happen as a result of negligence by the childcare centre.

Some tips to consider if your child is injured at childcare:

  • Your child’s health is paramount, so make sure you seek hospital and/or medical treatment
  • Ensure an incident form is completed and request a copy for your own records
  • Ensure photographs are taken of the incident site and your child’s injuries (if appropriate)
  • If there is CCTV footage, ask to view it and request a copy. If you cannot obtain a copy, write to the centre and ask that the footage is not destroyed
  • Retain receipts of all out of pocket expenses
  • Report the incident to the Department of Education and Training
  • Obtain legal advice.

For a no-obligation discussion about your child’s injury or your concerns about a childcare centre, call Adviceline Injury Lawyers (03) 9321 9988. We act on a No Win No Fee basis.

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