Child Physically Assaulted Outside of Daycare Facility

This case involves a child care provider who dealt with young children. The daycare provider was associated with a series of youth groups in an urban area. During the day, children were free to go to a number of “stations” where different equipment and activities were provided. Occasionally, children wandered outside of the building where the daycare was located. Two weeks prior to the incident in question, a child had wandered outside of the facility and had been assaulted. Despite the assault, no extra precautionary measures were put in place. Two weeks later, a second assault occurred, and the child sustained serious injuries which required a five-month hospital stay. A child welfare expert was sought for this case.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Following the first assault, should extra precautionary measures have been put in place to prevent this type of incident?

Expert Witness Response E-004490

In a case like this, it appears that the daycare provider was negligent. When discussing daycare, safety is paramount, and all factors related to the conditions of the environment should be considered. The number of employees, the resources available to the provider, their relationship with different youth groups, the ages of the children all factor into the provider’s culpability. The one element that raises a serious red flag, however, is the incident two weeks prior. In most cases, when a similar event occurs, precautionary measures need to be taken (warning the parents, extra security, speaking with the children, reducing space available to children). If changes were not made, the provider is probably liable.

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