The new crib laws for daycare centers and churches take effect on December 28, 2012. As of that date, it is mandatory that all child care facilities must comply with the revised safety standards. Regarding the entities required to comply with these new standards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has offered the following clarification, “we consider a child care facility to mean a nonresidential setting that provides child care services (which could include early learning opportunities) for a fee.” Note that the key wording is “for a fee”. With that condition, these regulations would not apply to a situation where volunteers care for children during a church service, no fee was charged to the parents, and the volunteers were not compensated.
However, churches and organization that do not charge a fee for nursery services or compensate nursery workers should still take note of these revised standards. Regardless of the “for a fee” condition, if a child is killed or injured in a defective or noncompliant crib, you could still be subject to the following penalties:
- Personal liability for all directors, officers, trustees, board members, etc. who allowed a noncompliant crib to be used.
- Compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit.
- Punitive damages in a civil lawsuit.
Additionally, if your church or daycare does provide services for a fee and/or compensates nursery workers, you may be fined up to $100,000 per noncompliant crib.
To help keep your organization in compliance and protect it against possible litigation, we recommend that you consider the following action items:
- Call your organization’s insurance agent to ensure that your current general liability insurance policy does not contain any exclusions for claims that result from a death or injury due to a defective or noncompliant product.
- Make the necessary internal changes.
If you have additional questions regarding this revised safety standard, feel free to contact one of our certified risk managers at 866.662.8210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.