As an employer within the child development field, you probably have employees who arrange to babysit for families outside of their working hours. This of course seems logical and appropriate at first glance.
Here is the kicker – if the family met their “babysitter” while the sitter was/is working in your program, it has been determined (by courts) that you are legally liable for their conduct while babysitting--EVEN outside of their employment hours with you.
What this simply means is, if your employee meets a family while working in your program (they are not related or have a prior relationship with each other), the family asks that person to babysit (while your employee isn’t working for you, i.e. Friday night, after hours, while the parents are away, etc.) YOU can be held liable for anything that happens to that child(ren) while in your employee’s care.
There are court findings where the child care program was held legally liable because there is an “implied recommendation” to the parent that your employee is capable/appropriate to care for children – hence they hire them on the side. This seems ridiculous – and I have to agree that it is – but that is how the courts have viewed this situation.
To protect yourself and your program from this legal liability you may want to look into having a “no babysitting” policy in place in your program. All of our KidCentric programs have a very strict policy to address this issue. If our policy is broken, the employee will be terminated and the parent will lose their child care immediately. This is a very serious issue. We have also been legally advised that there are no waivers that will protect you from this liability.
Parents and your employees will hate this policy, but you might want to consider putting one in place if you want to protect yourself from yet another layer of legal liability. Food for thought…..and action!
Oh yes, and, of course, our babysitting policy is for sale at http://www.daycaretools.com/!