Professional Guide to Daycare Incident Reports

Professional Guide to Daycare Incident Reports

Professional Guide to Daycare Incident Reports

Professional Guide to Daycare Incident Reports

No matter how rigid your monitoring of children in your daycare center is, accidents and injuries are inevitable. Filing a daycare incident report is one of the most important steps you must take after a child is injured.

What is a daycare incident report?

A daycare incident report is a record of an accident, injury, behavior, or other incident that requires a child to stop normal activity and receive first aid or medical attention.

Why are incident reports essential?

Daycare incident reports inform parents and guardians about their child's health and safety. Incident reports also help remove ambiguity after an incident by documenting what happened, when and how the incident occurred, and whose staff was responsible for taking care of the child. Incident reports should be completed as soon as possible after the event. 

How to write a daycare incident report

Daycare incident reports need to include specific information about the incident, the child that was involved in the incident, and the action that was taken after the incident occurred.

What should be included in a daycare incident report?

A daycare incident report should include:

  • The name of the daycare
  • The childcare consultant
  • The injured child's name and age
  • The cause of the injury
  • The date, time, and location of the incident
  • The locations of any injuries the child suffered
  • The types of injuries the child suffered
  • Medical treatment that the child received
  • The name of the medical facility (if the child was taken off-site to receive treatment)
  • The name of a staff member who witnessed the incident
  • The equipment involved in the incident (toys, playground equipment, furniture, medication)
  • The steps taken to prevent the incident from reoccurring 

After the incident report is completed, it should be signed and dated by the child's parent or guardian and the employee who completed the form. The form should also note the method used to contact the child's parent or guardian, the name of the employee who contacted them, and the date and time the parent or guardian was contacted.

Storing and sharing incident reports

Procedures for storing and sharing daycare incident reports vary by state. Consult your state's department of human services to learn about its legal requirements regarding record keeping.

If you're looking for an emergency contact form so you can be prepared for any situation that comes up, download our free template. 

Emergency Contact Form - brightwheel-1

Download our free emergency contact form template here!

Legal requirements of incident reporting

Laws regarding reporting daycare incidents vary by state. provides websites and phone numbers that can be used to report childcare incidents in every U.S. state and territory.  

Incident reporting by state

Easily create and download incident reports

The brightwheel app is an all-in-one-solution that allows you to operate your program with ease and confidence. With brightwheel, your childcare employees can quickly log incidents from their phones or tablets, allowing you to easily create and share incident reports with families and guardians. 

At brightwheel, we appreciate everything you do for your children, teachers, and families. Thank you for your dedication to early education! 

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

Subscribe to the brightwheel blog