Risk Management Advisories
CHILD CARE CENTRES IN SCHOOLS
- Maintenance activities must be logged.
Third Party Day Care Operations:
The Ministry of Community & Social Services and the Ministry of Education and Training have a partnership for Child Care Centres in schools. Under this partnership school boards lease space for a Child Care Facility to Child Care Professionals who operate the Centre independently of the school.
As joint occupiers of the school premises, both parties have a responsibility under the Education Act and the Occupier's Liability Act to ensure that persons entering on the premises are reasonably safe while on the premises.
As the owner of the premises, the school board has a responsibility to maintain its buildings and grounds in good condition to prevent accidents from occurring. Your OSBIE policy extends coverage to the board as "landlord", and protects the board from suits arising from Occupiers' Liability issues related to the maintenance of the premises.
The operator of the Child Care Centre also has a responsibility to provide liability insurance for claims that might arise out of their activities as supervisors and administrators of the Centre and as occupiers of the leased premises. School boards should confirm that the operators of Child Care facilities have adequate liability insurance for their operations, (minimum $2 million suggested). Boards should be named as an additional insured under the tenant's liability insurance as part of the lease arrangements.
In terms of risk management, school boards should recognize the increased exposure of having young children on
the premises and adults coming onto school property daily to deliver and pick up their children 12 months of the year.
A large number of the claims OSBIE has paid to date have been as a result of adults slipping and falling on school property. To reduce the risk of injury, school boards should ensure that all walkways, driveways and parking lots are properly maintained on a year-round basis by school and/or child care centre custodial staff. It is essential that maintenance is conducted prior to the early-morning arrival of parents dropping off children and late afternoon pick-up of children at the Child Care Centre. The lease agreement should clearly designate responsibility for daily maintenance.
Board Operated Day Care Programs:
In September, 2010, school boards began to offer before and after school day care programs for Junior and Senior Kindergarten (JK/SK) students. In some cases, the daycare facility will be operated by the school board, and, depending on local demand, could extend to children outside the all-day JK/SK program.
Where the school board operates the daycare facility, the board would now become responsible for the same risk management issues previously listed for third party daycare operators. As a school approved program, the board's comprehensive general liability policy through OSBIE will provide coverage for legal liability arising from the negligent acts of board employees while acting within the scope of their duties as daycare workers.
The following Risk Management Tips are provided as recommendations to boards operating their own daycare facilities:
- It is recommended that daycare workers be properly qualified for early learning programs and that proper screening and background checks be required;
- Daycare facilities are licensed and regulated under the Day Nurseries Act – ensure familiarity and compliance with applicable regulations;
- Supervision ratios defined under the Day Nurseries Act are different during the day care program than what may be required during the early education program – ensure compliance;
- Ensure daycare facilities are properly maintained. Special considerations may be required for winter maintenance where daycares are open earlier than regular school hours;
- Ensure proper cash management procedures are in place at the school for handling money received for daycare fees;
- Ensure playground equipment being used by the daycare facility meets CSA Z614 standard for ages 18 months to 5 years.
- Submit OSBIE incident reports (electronically) for any incidents occurring in board-operated daycare centres.
(REVISED 2015) E&OE
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