Checking for a Complaint

To check to see if a regulated child care provider has had any complaints or concerns against them, you can contact the appropriate regulatory agency. Regulatory agency telephone numbers are located at the bottom of this page. Be prepared to supply the child care provider’s name as well as business name. If you are unsure of the regulation of the provider, please contact the 4-C office for assistance.

A mom holding her son on her lap at the breakfast table with the boy's toy trains in front of them

Placing a Complaint

If you believe that a center or family child care home may be violating a rule, you may file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory agency. Regulatory agency telephone numbers are located at the bottom of this page. Reports may be filed anonymously. Every complaint is investigated. Some situations such as payment are not covered by the licensing or certification rules.

When filing a complaint, please give as much information as possible about your concern. This information will be helpful to the regulatory agency who will investigate the complaint. Supplying dates, times, and names of people involved or other potential witnesses will help the investigator gather information to determine whether a violation has occurred.

The regulatory agency will then investigate the complaint. The investigation may include an unannounced visit to the program to observe conditions, interviews, and if appropriate, a check of records.

After the investigation is complete, the regulatory agency will determine whether the allegations in the complaint are founded, unfounded, or substantiated. Violations noted are listed on a corrective action plan. Depending on the severity of the violations, other enforcement actions could be initiated. The regulatory agency will prepare a report on the investigation and subsequent findings. You may request to retrieve the findings as well. The report is then placed in the program’s file and shared with others who may want to know about a program’s complaint and compliance history.

Regulatory Agency Contact Information

Statewide Regulatory History – Online

For State Licensed Centers or Licensed Family Child Care Homes:

  • Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Rock, Sauk, & Walworth Counties: (608) 422-6765

For County Certified or Provisionally Certified Family Child Care Homes:

Responsibility for selecting a provider rests with each parent. Following are two background check websites. They are NOT complete background checks, but an additional resource to use to investigate a potential caregiver: