Can Parents be Made to Pay for Something their Child Breaks or Damages?

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A parent asked if she can she be made to pay for breakages. Her child’s centre said her child was involved in breaking a window and wants her to pay toward the cost of window replacement.  

But she believes her child did not do it, and no one saw the incident. The centre insists her child did and that she should pay.

At this centre when other things are broken by a child, such as a toy, parents are given a bill for the cost of the breakage or replacement.

We are interested in your thoughts on this. Please add your thoughts below.

We think that a service should not ask for payment for broken items, whether it is a toy or a window.    

  1. The service acts in loco parentis so any breakages or damages the child does when in the care of the service should be covered by the service and not parents.
  2. Children in ECE services are too young to be held financially responsible for their actions.
  3. Centres should have insurance to cover breakages.  

Moreover, what were the adults at the service doing when this incident is said to have happened? Was the child being adequately supervised and supported?

Parents can make a complaint to the Ministry of Education.

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