Daycare facilities are required to track drop-offs and pick-ups of children, with a parent or guardian’s signature required to sign children in and out. Staff members are not allowed to sign these sheets on behalf of parents/guardians.
But what happens when parents cannot get to the daycare and must send someone in their place to pick up their child? Parents should plan ahead by listing those authorized to make pick-ups on their child’s records with the center. Texas law mandates that daycare centers have a plan in place to keep kids safe.
Who Is Permitted to Pick Up My Child From Daycare?
Daycare centers are allowed to release children only to a parent or a person designated by the parent. This person generally must be over the age of 18 and have valid photo identification. With the written consent of the parent or guardian, a younger individual may be permitted to pick up a child in some circumstances.
When children are being picked up from the facility, daycare staff must make sure the person is authorized to make the pick-up and does not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a staff member suspects the person is intoxicated, they should contact the police for assistance. They should not release the child to the person picking up, whether they are a parent or included on the authorized pick-up list.
Daycare centers must have policies in place for the release of children, including a plan for how they will verify the identity of the person who is authorized to pick up the child. If the person who is attempting to pick up the child is not familiar to a staff member, that staff person should check with other staff members to find out if they know the person. If no one does, they should check the child’s records to determine whether the individual’s name is on the approved pick-up list. They should also ask to see the person’s photo ID before releasing the child.
What If My Child Is Released to the Wrong Person?
If your daycare center releases your child to someone who is under the influence or who is not authorized for pick-up, they may be held liable if your child is injured or kidnapped. Making a case for negligence includes:
- Proving the daycare center had accepted the responsibility of supervising your child
- Establishing that the caregiver failed to properly monitor your child and they were injured because of this
- Showing that your child’s injury was foreseeable by a reasonable person
What Should I Do After the Incident?
All parents should do the following after their child is injured due to daycare neglect:
- Get medical treatment for your child. Often injuries are not immediately apparent, particularly if your child is anxious or stressed because of the unauthorized pick-up. This is even more essential if your child is too young to tell you about what happened. Having your child treated by a medical professional can help identify injuries and figure out how they occurred. You will need medical records to help make a case against the daycare.
- Report what happened to the daycare administrators as soon as possible. You can decide whether or not to return your child to the center, but it might be best to seek other daycare options for your child.
- Contact a daycare injury attorney who can pursue a case against the daycare. Not only will this be important for your own situation, but you can also hold the daycare accountable so the same thing is less likely to happen to other children.
Contact a Daycare Injury Attorney
If your child was injured because of an unauthorized pick-up, contact an experienced Texas daycare attorney. At The Button Law Firm, we are focused on protecting children. When you set up a consultation, we can review your case and talk to you about the next steps. Our live chat option at the bottom of the screen is available 24/7.