What Parents Need to Know About Daycare Wandering Incidents


As parents, you know kids love to explore – especially when they find a new and exciting place. But what about when kids begin to wander away from their caregivers at daycare?

This can lead to scary outcomes – little kids can be hit by cars if they wander onto the road, or they may be kidnapped. So today, we want to talk about the most common causes of wandering at daycare and what daycares can do to prevent it.

The Three Most Common Reasons for Daycare Wandering Incidents

The first cause of daycare wandering is an unsecured premises. Daycare playgrounds must be properly fenced to ensure kids aren’t able to escape. Additionally, caregivers should always be properly monitoring children in case a gate was left open and a child is able to get out.

The second common reason for wandering is unlocked doors. Doors to get in or out of the daycare must be locked and monitored so that kids cannot push or pull them and walk out of the daycare.

The third most common cause of daycare wandering is improper supervision. On occasion, children at daycare go on field trips or participate in activities outside of the daycare. During these activities, caregivers must be sure that the children they’re responsible for are being looked after. This includes counting the number of children each time they enter or exit a location, including buses,  and calling each child by their name. Failure to do this can mean that they don’t notice when a child has wandered off.

Daycare wandering is a very real and very scary reality that can easily be prevented by caregivers and daycare directors. In the end, they must be sure to properly maintain the space that children are in, in addition to watching the children closely. If they cut corners, kids can be seriously injured.

What to Do if a Daycare Lost Your Child

If you discover that your child wandered from daycare, it’s important to get help immediately.

First, have your child checked out by their doctor. Even if they seem fine, they may have suffered an unknown injury while they were out on their own. It’s important that a doctor evaluates the child to ensure they’re safe and healthy.

If your child did get injured in a wandering incident, seek immediate medical care – which may mean taking them to the emergency room.

After you’ve gotten your child to a doctor, be sure to report this incident to the state. The state will investigate the daycare to see if there were deficiencies from the minimum standards. These reports are available to the public and can help other parents know of the daycare’s negligent practices.

Once you’ve reported the incident to the state, contact a daycare negligence attorney.

Daycare negligence attorneys might be able to help you find out what really happened when your child wandered away from the daycare. It’s important that you get help immediately, as it’s always better to investigate the incident sooner rather than later. A daycare injury lawyer can help preserve evidence – which can be useful if a daycare tries to deny liability and cover up its wrongdoings.

If you aren’t quite ready to speak to a lawyer, though, we understand. We’ve linked our free guide, 5 Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury, here. It has answers to many common questions about what to do next and how you can help your child move forward. And if you have any other questions for our team, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to keep you and your family moving forward.