Childcare centre faces public liability claim after toddlers escape

Date: Dec 24, 2019

A Melbourne childcare centre is facing legal action after staff allowed two toddlers to escape and run into a street.

Dashcam footage of the incident shows motorists coming to a complete stop on a 70km/h street when the two 2-year-old children ran from a traffic island onto Ballan Road in Werribee. One of the drivers exited his vehicle and helped the kids to safety off the street. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the incident.

Initially, the childcare centre was unaware of the dashcam footage, so it downplayed the incident and merely told the parents that the children got loose, but were found on the footpath.

“The staff basically had no knowledge of the footage, hence why they told us he only got out to the footpath,” said Chris, a father of one of the boys, according to news.com.au. “They were trying to back-pedal and each staff member was giving us a different story.”

The video of the incident circulated and it wasn’t until footage showed up on the evening news that the family of the other child realised what had happened.

Following the incident, the parents of the two children are now pursuing a public liability claim against the centre.

Negligence at Childcare Centres

As horrible as it sounds, the sad truth remains that instances of negligence at childcare centres are all too real. While the vast majority of childcare providers do their very best to maintain a safe area for children, they’re not perfect.

If a child is injured, the childcare providers can be found unintentionally negligent. This opens the door for a liability claim to follow suit from the families and authorities.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has brought charges against Early Childhood Management Services, which owns the Werribee West Family Centre, among 70 kindergartens and childcare centres across Melbourne. The charges arise from breaches to the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, which include penalties for failing to adequately supervise children as well as failing to protect children from harm and hazard by taking reasonable precautions.

If you have experienced an instance of negligence at a childcare centre, contact Gerard Malouf and Partners to learn what you can do to see justice is served.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.