Are daycares in Georgia required to have insurance?

A key, but oftentimes overlooked, question to ask a potential daycare for your child is whether or not the daycare actually has insurance. As parents, we sometimes assume that a daycare has insurance; however, Georgia law does not require your daycare to carry insurance. If the daycare doesn’t have insurance, then the daycare has to post a conspicuous sign and notify parents and guardians in writing about this danger.

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The Georgia Department of Early Care & Learning – Bright From the Start (“DECAL”) handles most of the aspects for daycares, like ensuring that uninsured daycares notify people. The exact wording of the law dealing with insurance is set out under a statute, O.C.G.A. § 20-1A-4(9):

The Department of Early Care and Learning shall have the following powers and duties:

[…]

(9) To recommend in writing to the owner of any early care and education program licensed by the department that such program carry liability insurance coverage sufficient to protect its clients. Any such program which after receiving such recommendation is not covered by liability insurance shall post that fact in a conspicuous place in the program and shall notify the parent or guardian of each child under the care of the program in writing. Such notice shall be in at least 1/2 inch letters. Each such parent or guardian must acknowledge receipt of such notice in writing and a copy of such acknowledgment shall be maintained on file at the program at all times while the child attends the program and for 12 months after the child’s last date of attendance. Failure to do so may subject the owner of the program to a civil fine of $1,000.00 for each such infraction; (emphasis added)

Sometimes the uninsured daycares will neglect to notify parents despite this mandate from DECAL. Parents and guardians should always remain proactive and ask this questions before enrolling their children. In the event that there is an unfortunate accident caused by the a mistake by the daycare or its employees, there needs to be insurance in place to compensate adequately the child and family for the harms and losses.

While many parents are dismayed to learn that some daycares do not have insurance, this law at least is a step in the right direction for Georgia parents with children in daycares. Years ago, daycares did not even have to notify parents about insurance, or the lack thereof. Governor Sonny Perdue signed a bill in to law in 2004 known as “Juan’s Law” after a terrible tragedy struck a young boy and his family.

So please take a moment to ask this important question next time you are looking at a daycare for your son or daughter and remind your loved ones to do the same. If you have any questions about it, feel free to give us a call or send an e-mail. We are here to help you and your family!