Early Learning / Child Care Complaints

Most licensed child care programs offer safe and healthy environments. Occasionally, parents may need to report that a child care facility is not meeting licensing standards. Some of the most common licensing complaint types are:

  • Lack of adequate supervision
  • Insufficient nurturing and care
  • Unsafe facility environment
  • Inappropriate discipline
  • Lack of proper sanitation (and other health concerns)

If you suspect child abuse or neglect in a licensed child care facility, contact 1-866- END-HARM to report your concerns. Keeping Washington's children safe and healthy in licensed child care is a community-wide responsibility!

Learn more about who is required to report child abuse and neglect.

Complaint Inspections

A DCYF licensor will begin to take action on a complaint within five working days of the date the referral was received.

The licensor will:

  • conduct an unannounced visit to a child care facility.
  • observe the physical surroundings and the operation of the child care facility.
  • review relevant on-site documentation.

A licensor may also interview staff, parents, and the person who called in the complaint. The complaint is usually inspected and resolved within 45 days.

Complaints that are found to be valid are posted on Child Care Check.

Review the Licensing and Complaint History of Child Care Providers

Child Care Check is a tool to provide basic information to help you find a licensed child care provider and determine if a provider is licensed.

It also provides the history of any complaints made about a licensed child care provider that was found to be valid. You can call 1.866.482.4325 to access this service or go to Child Care Check.

Unlicensed Facilities

If you suspect a facility does not have a license to care for children, you should also use the contact number 1-866-END-HARM to report your concerns. A license ensures a facility is meeting state minimum health and safety standards.