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Childcare Negligence

When you bring your child to a creche, preschool or other childcare facility, you rightfully place complete trust in the carers and assistants to take care of your child and ensure their health & safety while on their premises. You expect your child to be treated with respect, with attention to their needs, and with dignity and most childcare facilities will treat children accordingly.

All childcare facilities have a legal duty to ensure the children in their care are supervised and monitored so as to ensure their safety, as well as a duty to ensure no child suffers serious harm while on their premises. However, there are occasions when a childcare facility will not live up to these standards and will breach their duty of care towards the children in their care. These breaches of care include lack of supervision of children to the extent that a child suffers harm and overcrowding of facilities with children, as well as more serious incidents such as abusive or threatening behaviour, whether physical or verbal, towards a child.

Every person running a creche, preschool, or other childminding service has a duty to comply with the following:

  • The Child Care Act 1991;
  • The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016; and
  • The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Amendments) Regulations 2016.

The above regulations provide, for example, the following:

  • That every worker in a childcare facility has been Garda vetted;
  • Minimum ratios of adults to children;
  • Minimum floor space requirements in the premises for the work, play and movement of children attending the service;
  • That pre-school children attending the service are always supervised;
  • That records are kept in respect of who is authorised to collect the child, illnesses, disabilities, allergies, and any special needs of the child;
  • That appropriate and suitable care practices are in place in the pre-school service, having regard to the number of children attending the service and the nature of their needs;
  • That there are adequate and suitable facilities for a pre-school child to rest during the day;
  • That a person trained in first aid for children is, at all times, immediately available to the children attending the pre-school service;
  • That adequate and suitable, nutritious and varied food and drink is available to each child attending the pre-school service; and
  • That there is adequate and suitable furniture, play and work equipment and materials available on the premises of the pre-school service.

If you are concerned that your child is attending a pre-school or other childcare facility that does not comply with the above regulations, Lavelle Partners can assist. At the outset, we will listen to the details of the incident and help you to determine if the childcare facility can be held liable in respect of their conduct.

Lavelle Partners have assisted numerous clients over the years to successfully bring claims against creches, pre-schools, and other childcare facilities for harm suffered by children as a result of a breach of duty of care.

How Lavelle’s childcare facility Solicitors can assist you in bringing a claim

  • Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving negligence by creches, pre-schools and other childcare facilities.
  • Our team have been helping clients since 2004, with decades of combined experience across the team, and place client care at the centre of everything they do.
  • From the first moment you speak to one of our Solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
  • We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events.
  • Our Solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes, and managing the submission of your personal injury claim.
  • By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important – your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.

For further information on making a claim in respect of a breach of duty of care by a childcare facility in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at ascally@lavellepartners.ie

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