Complaint Policy

If You Have a Concern About Your Child Care

If you are dissatisfied with a caregiver, you may contact LOCATE: Child Care at 877.261.0060 and speak with a Referral Specialist to discuss your concerns.  Many difficulties between you and a provider can be resolved.  Your Referral Specialist can give you some helpful tips for continued communication with your provider.

Complaints that involve any threat to the health, safety or welfare of a child should be immediately registered with your regional Office of Child Care and, in certain circumstances, with the Child Protective Services division of your local department of social services. LOCATE: Child Care Referral Specialists can be reached by telephone at 877.261.0060 and can provide you with the telephone numbers of the office nearest you.

If you do have a complaint of this nature, our Referral Specialists can assist you by gathering pertinent information concerning your concern and registering your complaint with the appropriate regulatory or social services agency. The complete LOCATE: Child Care complaint policy is available below for you to review.

Locate:  child care Complaint Policy

Through MFN’s LOCATE:  Child Care service, parents share feedback with the LOCATE:  Child Care staff on the programs in the files: licensed child care centers, registered family child care providers and accredited preschools and camps. While this feedback is at times positive, it sometimes concerns complaints parents have about child caregivers. Of course, MFN and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network want to use this information in a way that is fair to providers and parents, while protecting children, as well.

Therefore, the LOCATE:  Child Care Complaint Policy was developed and has been in effect since its approval by the Maryland Committee for Children Board in November, 1983. According to this policy, all complaints made to LOCATE:  Child Care about child care providers/facilities are recorded. The type of complaint is then determined:

Less Serious Complaint – No Violation: complaints which do not involve violations of child care regulations; complaints about situations which do not pose a threat to the safety, health or welfare of a child.

Less Serious Complaint Involving Violation: complaints of any violation of Office of Child Care (OCC), Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regulations, and/or the Health Department which do not pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of a child.

Serious Complaint: any threat to the immediate health, safety, or welfare of a child.

When a parent calls LOCATE:  Child Care with a complaint, the referral specialist advises him/her to register the complaint directly with the appropriate regulatory agency and/or Protective Services. Names and telephone numbers of the person with whom the parent should speak are provided.

When a Serious Complaint is received concerning one of the providers of facilities in the LOCATE:  Child Care system, no referrals are made by the referral specialists to that provider/facility. The LOCATE:  Child Care Director also communicates with the appropriate regulatory agency personnel about the complaint, and maintains the “hold” on the provider/facility until the agency’s disposition of the complaint is known. Should the investigation result in no action, the “hold” status is removed from that provider’s/facility’s records. Should the license or registration be revoked, the record is removed from the LOCATE:  Child Care files. Providers are advised of LOCATE:  Child Care’s actions in writing.

A provider may appeal the LOCATE:  Child Care Director’s decision to cease referrals. Appeals are first addressed to the LOCATE:  Child Care Advisory Committee. Final appeals may be made to the board of the Maryland Family Network.

It is the position of LOCATE:  Child Care and MFN that the Complaint Policy is both fair and workable. Safeguards and due process are afforded to the care givers in the files, and parents’ and children’s rights to safety are addressed, as well. Any questions on this policy should be addressed to FloJean Speck, Director, LOCATE:  Child Care.

Child Care Resource and Referral Center Complaint Policy

All of the resource centers of the Maryland Child Care Resource Network strive to provide high quality service to their constituencies. However, in the event that someone has concerns about an incident regarding some aspect of service at a regional child care resource center or feels that he/she was mistreated by a staff member of a resource center, the caller should contact the resource center involved.

If the person is not satisfied with the way the concern or complaint was handled by the regional resource center, he/she can contact the Network Manager at the Maryland Family Network (MFN) at 410.659.7701. As the Statewide Coordinating Entity, MFN will investigate the complaint and act on it appropriately.