Improper Teacher to Child Ratios
Day care facilities must hire an adequate number of employees to competently watch the children in their care. Failure to do so could lead to harm for the children in their care. The J. Guerra Law Firm is run by San Antonio child injury lawyer Jesse E. Guerra, Jr., who knows Texas law and how it applies to day care facilities. We are advocates for children injured by negligent day cares.Child-Caregiver Ratios Are Mandated by Texas Law
The Texas Administrative Code, in §§ 746.1501-746.2117, sets forth the minimum number of caregivers necessary for supervising children at a day care facility. The number of staff required varies based on the age of the children, the children's activities, and the number of children in a given group.
For example, a single caregiver may supervise no more than four infants younger than 12 months old, but can watch as many as 26 children ages 9 to 13. The number of children a day care employee may supervise decreases in certain circumstances, such as on field trips and while swimming in a pool. In some instances there must be a 1:1 ratio.Pursue Compensation for Injuries Caused by Day Care Neglect
If a child is injured because there were not enough adult supervisors, the day care facility may be held liable in a negligence lawsuit. To succeed in this claim, the plaintiff must show:
- The day care facility owed the child a duty of reasonable care;
- The facility breached the duty;
- The child’s injuries were caused by the facility's actions; and
- Damages were incurred by the child or parents because of the injuries.
All day care facilities owe the children they supervise a duty of reasonable care. Failing to provide the correct number of adults to supervise the children is likely considered unreasonable behavior and therefore a breach of that duty. Since the number of caregivers is required by Texas law, the theory of negligence per se may help the parents of injured children recover compensation. Negligence per se substitutes for the first two elements of a negligence claim, requiring duty and breach to be automatically satisfied if the defendant broke a law that was designed to protect people like the victim from the type of harm suffered by the victim. In these cases, the Texas laws on child-teacher ratios are designed to protect children from injuries, so a child hurt by a facility’s failure to comply with the law might be able to use negligence per se.
Causation would be proven if, for example, failing to provide the required number of caregivers caused a child to fall or drown. Any injury attributable to lack of supervision may expose the facility to negligence liability because the facility may be held liable for careless behavior by any employee acting in the course and scope of employment. An injured child may experience several types of injuries on account of a negligent day care facility. Liable defendants may be required to reimburse the family for medical bills and other costs caused by their negligence. In addition, children may have experienced significant pain and suffering, disfigurement, or emotional distress. Defendants may be required to compensate for these injuries as well.Hold Negligent Austin Day Cares Accountable
You should not let a negligent day care get away with cutting corners. Texas law requires certain child-caregiver ratios to protect children. Relying on significant experience litigating child neglect cases in Austin, San Marcos, Laredo, and Waco, Jesse E. Guerra, Jr. can help you find the answers you need about your child’s day care injuries. Schedule an appointment with The J. Guerra Law Firm by calling 877.903.8323 or visiting our contact page.