Through the Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE: Child Care service, parents can share feedback about the programs in the database, including licensed child care centers, registered family child care providers, and accredited preschools and camps. This feedback can sometimes involve complaints about caregivers. MFN and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network use this information in a way that is fair to providers and parents–while protecting children.

The LOCATE: Child Care Complaint Policy was developed by the board of directors of one of MFN’s legacy organizations, the Maryland Committee for Children, and was approved by that body in November, 1983. According to this policy, all complaints made to LOCATE: Child Care about child care providers and facilities are recorded.

Types of Complaints

Less Serious Complaints with No Violation do not involve violations of child care regulations; do not involve situations that pose a threat to the safety, health or welfare of a child.

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

Serious Complaints include any threat to the immediate health, safety or welfare of a child.

When a parent or guardian calls LOCATE: Child Care with a complaint, the referral specialist advises to register the complaint directly with the appropriate regulatory agency and/or Protective Services. The parent is given the names and telephone numbers for the people they should contact.

When a Serious Complaint is received concerning a provider in the LOCATE: Child Care system, referrals to that provider cease until the situation is resolved. The LOCATE: Child Care director communicates with the appropriate regulatory agency about the complaint and maintains the hold on referrals until the disposition of the complaint is known. Should the investigation result in no action, the hold status is removed from the provider’s record. Should the license or registration be revoked, the facility is removed from the LOCATE: Child Care database. Providers are advised of LOCATE: Child Care’s actions in writing.

A provider may appeal the LOCATE: Child Care 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 effective. Safeguards and due process are afforded to providers while parents’ and children’s rights are upheld. Any questions about this policy should be addressed to FloJean Speck Resource, Referral, and Data Management Director.