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If a parent, guardian or other concerned citizen thinks that a child care program is not meeting the licensing requirements, a complaint can be made to the Division. Examples of issues that might be reported include:

  • Children not being fed nutritious meals
  • Activities or materials not appropriate for the ages of children in care
  • Staff responsible for too many children
  • Children being left in classrooms without an adult present

The Division will also investigate any reports of child abuse or neglect.

The Division has the authority to investigate all of these areas. The Division has no authority over areas such as operational policies about payment, hours or days of operation, if a program chooses not to administer medication, or enrollment or termination policies.



Documentation of Administrative Penalties

Effective January 1, 2006, following the substantiation of any abuse or neglect complaint or the issuance of any administrative action against a child care facility, the child care operator shall notify parents of children currently enrolled. The notification shall be in writing and shall include information on the nature of the substantiated complaint or the type of administrative action taken. This includes administrative actions that are under appeal with the Office of Administrative Hearings. The operator shall maintain copies of documentation of the substantiated complaint investigation or the administrative action issued against the facility for the past three years in a binder, which shall be accessible to parents.



Complaint Investigation Procedure for Licensing Requirements

  • File Complaint

  • Call the Division at 800.859.0829 (In-State only) or 919.662.4499. Ask to speak to someone in Intake Unit (calls can be made anonymously). When you call you will need to have:
    • Information about the name of the program
    • The location
    • Details about the concern
    • Any specific information about individuals involved in the incident
    • Date and/or time the incident occurred
    • Any additional information that you have

  • Division Investigates

  • The Division makes an unannounced visit to discuss the complaint with the provider. Dependent upon the nature of the complaint, various aspects of the program will be monitored. For example, if the complaint was about the nutritional content of meals, the consultant would generally visit during lunchtime and review what was being served. Menus from current and previous weeks could also be reviewed, and a discussion with the provider about the program's policy for meals could also take place.


  • Complaint Resolution
    • If it is determined that the incident did occur, there are various actions that can be taken:
      • Follow up visits can be made to ensure that the incident is not repeated
      • The provider can submit a corrective action plan that details what action will be taken to correct the item
      • The Division can take administrative action against the program, ranging from a written reprimand, to the issuance of a provisional license, to a summary suspension if there is an immediate and present danger to children
    • If the consultant is unable to confirm that the incident did occur, then the report is unsubstantiated.

  • Master File Documentation

  • A copy of the complaint report, and any supporting documentation, is placed in the program's master file, and available to the public for review.



Complaint Investigation Procedure for Abuse and/or Neglect

  • File Complaint

  • Any individual who suspects that abuse or neglect has occurred, or is occurring, has a legal responsibility to make a report. Reports can be made by calling either the Division intake unit, at 800.859.0829 (In-State only) or 919.662.4499, or your local department of social service's child protective services intake unit. Calls can be made anonymously. When you call you will need to have:
    • Information about the name of the program
    • The location
    • Details about the concern
    • Any specific information about individuals involved in the incident
    • Date and/or time the incident occurred
    • Any additional information that you have

  • Division and/or Social Services Investigates

  • The Division makes an unannounced visit to discuss the complaint with the provider. The local department of social services worker will also make a visit. Sometimes the Division and the DSS worker will make their visit at the same time. As necessary, additional interviews of children, staff, family members and other community members might occur.
    NOTE: The investigation typically takes two or more months to complete.

  • Complaint Resolution
    • If it is determined that the incident did occur, there are various actions that can be taken.
      • Follow up visits can be made to ensure that the incident is not repeated
      • The provider can submit a corrective action plan that details what action will be taken to correct the item
      • The Division can take administrative action against the program, ranging from a written reprimand, to the issuance of a provisional license, to a summary suspension if there is an immediate and present danger to children
    • If the consultant is unable to confirm that the incident did occur then the report is unsubstantiated.

  • Master File Documentation

  • A copy of the complaint report, and any supporting documentation, is placed in the program's master file, and available to the public to review.


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