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Child Care Complaint Policy

CDSC values parent and other consumer input and strives to work quickly and effectively to resolve complaints about a program or provider. CDSC believes that the best outcome will be achieved when conflicts are resolved as close as possible to the level at which it has occurred. Therefore, complaint handling is viewed as an important responsibility. Handling a parent’s complaint effectively needs patience and skill to avoid an initial negative situation becoming even more negative and degenerating into a dispute. Communication with the consumer in a manner that acknowledges and empathizes with their feelings is a key element in minimizing potential dispute.

CDSC staff is not responsible to resolve complaints heard from families using child care services inNew York City. Staff will obtain details about the nature of the complaint and provide information about how to report complaints to the appropriate agency(ies). Specifically, parents or other individuals who make complaints about a program are directed to the Child Care Complaint Line telephone number and/or the Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register telephone number depending on the type of complaint. Parent referral specialists will assess the complaint call and refer the call to the appropriate agency.

  • To report a concern about a child care program:800-732-5207
  • To report child abuse and maltreatment:800-342-3720

Responding to Complaints
Each complaint received by CDSC is recorded on the complaint form, which includes information about the complaint and CDSC’s response. The CCR&R Program Director or designee determines, based on the information received, whether the complaint involves: 1) a personal dispute between the parent and provider; 2) a disagreement between the provider and the parent as to the quality of the program; or 3) potential child abuse, neglect or a serious regulatory violation. These categories are further described below. If the nature of the complaint does not fall within one of these categories, CDSC staff will respond to such complaint in a manner that it believes to be appropriate at the time.

Personal disputes: Complaints falling into this category would include such matters as disagreements between the parent and program over financial matters or grievances lodged against the program by the parent that CDSC determines to be of a personal nature.

Possible CDSC responses include discussing the matter with the parent to attempt to clarify the problem and possibly suggesting that the parent discuss the matter with the program. Additionally, or alternatively, CDSC may assist the parent in locating another program.

Complaints relating to program quality: Complaints in this category could include disagreements between the parent and the program over matters relating to child development philosophy or practices.

Possible CDSC responses include discussing the matter with the parent to attempt to help clarify the problem and possibly suggesting that the parent discuss the matter with the program. Additionally, or alternatively, CDSC may assist the parent in locating another provider. If appropriate, CDSC will advise the parent to inform DOHMH of his or her complaint. CDSC may also inform DOHMH of the complaint if, in its judgment based on information received, the complaints represent a potential licensing violation.

Child abuse or neglect, and/or serious licensing violations: Examples of such complaints are: a) Reported incidents of child abuse or neglect occurring at a childcare program of information by program staff that the program is under investigation by the Administration for Children's Services (ACS), or some other governmental agency because of allegations of child abuse or neglect; b) Failure by a program to report indications of child abuse and neglect in accordance with mandated reporting requirements; c) Information that a program has failed to abide by registration/licensing regulations where the failure would affect the health and safety of the children; d) Information that a program has lost its license or registration.

Complaints received that CDSC believes involve allegations of child abuse or neglect will be reported to the New York State Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, as well as DOHMH. Complaints received that CDSC believes involve allegations of serious licensing or registration violations affecting the health and safety of the children will be reported to DOHMH or other appropriate licensing or registration authority. CDSC will also advise parents themselves to report such complaints to the proper authorities.

Inactive Status on Provider Database
The NYC DOHMH Bureau of Child Care notifies the Consortium provider database manager when a provider is under investigation or has had its license suspended. The database manager then puts the provider into “inactive” status on the database and informs the other Consortium agencies of this action. The “inactive” status is removed once DOHMH confirms that the provider is now in good standing.

Providers with licenses that are due to expire shortly are extracted from the database monthly and their current regulatory status confirmed on the CCFS database. If it appears that the license has expired and no renewal is in process, the provider is marked “inactive” on the database until confirmation of its status can be determined.

Complaints about CCR&R Services and/or Staff
CDSC’s CCR&R Program Director or his/her designee(s) is responsible for handling all complaints received about CCR&R services and/or staff. CDSC staff is trained to refer all complaints and all matters relating to complaints immediately to the person or persons authorized to receive them.

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