Serious Occurrence

child injury accident

Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre is responsible for delivering services that promote the health, safety and well being of all children. We are accountable to the public and to the ministry to demonstrate that our services are consistent with relevant legislation, regulations, and policies.

What is a Serious Occurrence?

A “Serious Occurrence” is defined in Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 under the Child Care Early Years Act is as follows:

  1. the death of a child who received child care at a home child care premises or child care centre, whether it occurs on or off the premises,
  2. abuse, neglect or an allegation of abuse or neglect of a child while receiving child care at a home child care premises or child care centre,
  3. a life-threatening injury to or a life-threatening illness of a child who receives child care at a home child care premises or child care centre,
  4. an incident where a child who is receiving child care at a home child care premises or child care centre goes missing or is temporarily unsupervised, or
  5. an unplanned disruption of the normal operations of a home child care premises or child care centre that poses a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children receiving child care at the home child care premises or child care centre. 

Under these provisiones Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre ensures that:

  1. there are written policies and procedures with respect to serious occurrences in each child care centre operated by the licensee and each premises where it oversees the provision of home child care, that address at a minimum, how to identify, respond to and report a serious occurrence;
  2. a report is provided to a program adviser of any serious occurrence in any child care centre operated by the licensee or any premises where it oversees the provision of home child care within 24 hours of the licensee or supervisor becoming aware of the occurrence;
  3. a summary of the report provided under clause (b) and of any action taken as a result is posted for at least 10 business days in a conspicuous place at the child care centre or home child care premises; and
  4. the report and the summary of the report are each kept in accordance with section 82.

Furthermore, Together We Grow Learning & Childcare shall,

  1. conduct an annual analysis of all serious occurrences that occurred in the previous year at each child care centre operated by the licensee and at each premises where the licensee oversees the provision of home child care; and
  2. Keep records of the actions taken in response to the analysis. O. Reg. 126/16, s. 25

This means that Together We Grow Learning & Childcare has a plan to deal with any serious incidents that may affect the health, safety and well-being of children and staff and that these serious incidents are reported, tracked and followed up on.

If Together We Grow Learning & Childcare, or its supervisors cannot access CCLS, we will still notify our program advisor via telephone or email within 24 hours of becoming aware of the occurrence and complete a serious occurrence report in CCLS as soon as the system becomes available.

The serious occurrence categories in CCLS are:

head injury childDeath of a Child
Any death of a child who is enrolled at a child care centre or home child car;

Allegation of Abuse and/or Neglect
Allegations of abuse and/or neglect of a child while in attendance at a child care centre or home child care;

Life-threatening Injury or Illness
A life threatening injury or illness of a child that is enrolled at a child care centre or home childcare care ; or 

  • Injury
  • Illness (Caused by Service Provider, Accidental, Self-Inflicted/Unexplained)

Missing or Unsupervised Child(ren)
Missing or unsupervised child(ren) while in attendance at a child care or home child care; or

  • Child was found
  • Child is still missing

Unplanned Disruption of Normal Operations
Any incident and/or any other unplanned disruption of service that poses a risk to the health, safety, and well being of the children.

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Gas Leak
  • Detection of Carbon Monoxide
  • Outbreak
  • Lockdown
  • Other Emergency Relocation or Temporary Closure

accident reportDuty to Report

Some serious occurrences, most notably an allegation of abuse or neglect, will give rise to a duty of report that a child may be in need of protection.

If Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre or staff member suspects that a child is, or may be, in need of protection, they will report this to the local children’s aid society in accordance with section 72 of the Child and Family Services Act. The person who has the reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is, or may be, in need of protection will make the report directly to a children’s aid society. The person will not rely on anyone else to report on his or her behalf.

A report to a children's aid society will be made for all situations where a child is, or may be, in need of protection, no matter where the alleged abuse or neglect took place.

However, Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre is only required to notify the program advisor of a serious occurrence if the alleged abuse or neglect occurred while the child was receiving care at the centre.

It is also important to note that registered early childhood educators (RECEs) are expected to be accountable for their actions as early childhood educators and to abide by the College of Early Childhood Educators’ Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as well as all applicable legislation, regulations, by-laws and policies that are relevant to their professional practice.

The Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 and the Professional Misconduct Regulation state that it is an act of professional misconduct to “[contravene] a law, if the contravention has caused or may cause a child who is under the member’s professional supervision to be put at or remain at risk.” RECEs should familiarize themselves with reporting requirements under the Child and Family Services Act, and abide by them as the failure to do so is contrary to the law and may constitute professional misconduct.

For more information on the Child and Family Services Act and the duty to report, see Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect: It’s Your Duty.

For more information about the responsibilities of an RECE, please visit the College of Early Childhood Educators website.

How to fill out a Serious Occurrence Notification Form.

Emergency Services were notifiedProtection of Personal Information and Privacy

  • Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre ensures the information posted in the Serious Occurrence Notification Form protects personal information and privacy.
  • To help support the protection of privacy and personal information, no child or staff names, initials, and age or birth date of child will be used on the Serious Occurrence Notification Form.
  • No age group identifiers will be used, e.g. preschool room; toddler room.

Allegations of Abuse: Timing of posting

Serious Occurrence Notification Forms pertaining to allegations of abuse are posted when the following have been concluded:

  • The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) has concluded its investigation and the allegation is either verified or not verified; or
  • CAS has determined that an investigation will not be conducted; and
  • The Ministry has investigated any associated licensing non-compliances.

Information to be included:

  • Once investigations are completed, the form should provide clear, concise information for the parent.
  • The Description section will include information about whether CAS conducted an investigation into the report, and identify that the ministry conducted an investigation into compliance with related licensing requirements.

The form will identify whether:

  • CAS verified the allegation;
  • CAS has not verified the allegation;
  • The operator has taken action on any other directions given by CAS, if applicable;
  • The operator has addressed any associated licensing non-compliances identified by the ministry, if applicable.

If operators are unsure about when to post the Serious Occurrence Notification form in situations of allegations of abuse, they are encouraged to contact their local MCYS regional office.

COMPLAINTS

Timing of posting:

  • When the Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre has filed a serious occurrence report about a complaint, verified the complaint and has taken actions to address the issue, the Serious Occurrence Notification Form is posted within 24 hours of the occurrence.
  • When Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre filed a serious occurrence report to the ministry about a complaint, but has not taken action because the complaint has not yet been verified, the serious occurrence will not be posted within 24 hours.
  • Once the complaint has been verified or not verified, the Serious Occurrence Notification Form is posted.
  • If Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre is unsure about when to post the Serious Occurrence Notification form related to complaints, we will contact our local MCYS regional office.

REQUIRED UPDATE TO THE TWG's SERIOUS OCCURRENCE POLICY

The update to Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre’s serious occurrence policy includes:

  • The November 1, 2011 effective date for posting the Serious Occurrence Notification Form in Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre when a serious occurrence happens;
  • Posting location, timing and duration requirements;
  • Directions pertaining to posting allegations of abuse and complaints;
  • No identifying information is included in the Serious Occurrence Notification Form, e.g. child name; staff name; age or birth date of child; age group/room, e.g. preschool room.

Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre’s Mandatory Reporting Obligations

In 2015 changes to the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECEA) came into effect. Included in these changes are new requirements for Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre to submit mandatory reports to the College of Early Childhood Educators.

In addition, the legislative changes specify required time lines for reporting and set out information the College must provide to Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre in response to any reports that are received. For more information, please visit the Ontario e-laws website to view the ECEA and visit the College of Early Childhood Educators website.

Child AbuseSerious Occurrence Notification Form

Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre is required to complete and post a summary of each serious occurrence in a place that is visible and accessible to parents within 24 hours of becoming aware of the occurrence for a minimum of 10 business days, including any allegation of abuse or neglect.

The summary must not include any identifying information and shall be updated as new information is obtained.

Serious Occurrence Annual Analysis

Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre is required to conduct an annual analysis of all serious occurrences that occurred in the previous year.

The annual analysis is to be used as a method of identifying issues, trends and actions taken. The analysis and record of actions taken in response to the analysis must be kept on file at Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre.

In addition to ongoing reviews and follow-up to serious occurrences, licensing ministry staff will review the serious occurrence annual analysis during licence renewal inspections.

Compliance Indicators

  • There are written serious occurrence policies and procedures that address at a minimum, how to identify, respond to and report a serious occurrence.
  • A review of CCLS confirms that all serious occurrences were reported within 24 hours of Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre´s or supervisor becoming aware of the incident. Or there is evidence that the program advisor was notified of the serious occurrence within 24 hours of Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre or supervisor becoming aware of the incident.
  • There is an annual analysis and record of actions taken in response to the analysis on file.
  • Serious occurrence notification forms are kept for at least three years (or for two years if the incident took place while the Day Nurseries Act was in force).
  • If a serious occurrence was reported and/or updated within the last ten business days, a notification form is posted in a conspicuous place at Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre (including any allegation of abuse or neglect).

Or

  • Where a serious occurrence was reported and/or updated more than 10 business days ago, Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre or supervisor confirms that notification form(s) were posted in a conspicuous place at the centre for 10 business days.

Recommendations

It is recommended that Together We Grow Learning & Childcare Centre develop a protocol for staff to respond to a situation where a child has gone missing while receiving care at a child care centre.

These guidelines should take into consideration the age of the child who is missing, and can include steps to:

  • Alert all staff
  • Immediately search the child care premises, including outdoor areas (e.g. playground)
  • Have a staff member who is not searching the premises immediately alert the child’s parents (in case parents have additional information about child’s whereabouts)
  • Advise the police by telephone

 

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