LOCATE Complaint Policy

Through the LOCATE service, parents share feedback with the LOCATE staff on the programs in the database: licensed day care centers, registered family day care providers and accredited preschools. While this feedback is at times positive, it sometimes concerns complaints parents have about child caregivers. Of course, LOCATE 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 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 about child care providers or facilities are recorded. The type of complaint is then determined:

Less Serious Complaint-No Violation: complaints that 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-No Violation: complaints that 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.

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

When a parent calls LOCATE with a complaint, the counselor advises the parent 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 system, no referrals are made by the counselors to that provider or facility. The LOCATE Director also communicates with the appropriate regulatory agency personnel about the complaint, and maintains the hold on the provider or 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 provide'rs or facility's records. Should the license or registration be revoked, the record is removed from the LOCATE database. Providers are advised of LOCATE's actions in writing.

A provider may appeal the LOCATE Director's decision to cease referrals. Appeals are first addressed to the LOCATE Advisory Committee. Final appeals may be made to the Board of Maryland Family Network.

It is the position of LOCATE and Maryland Family Network that the Complaint Policy is both fair and workable. Safeguards and due process are afforded to the caregiver in the files, and parent's and children's right to safety are addressed, as well.

Any questions about this policy should be addressed to the LOCATE: Child Care Director at 410-659-7701 ext 259.