Whitman and Asotin County

Child Care Resource & Referral

Concerns about Your Child's Care

Warning Signs of Poor Care

If you have a problem or concern with your child care, make time to speak with the director or provider as soon as possible. If you have serious concerns about your child's health or well-being in the program, take immediate steps to protect your child. Most programs will have an open-door policy, where parents can visit the program at any time. As a parent, you should have access to your child at any time of the day. Any patterns of disturbing events or reports from your child should never be ignored. If you still have concerns after speaking with your provider, you may choose to remove your child from your child care arrangement, and look for another program or provider. If you suspect any type of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, remove your child from care until the situation is investigated or resolved to your complete satisfaction. Remember to trust your instincts, and ask a lot of questions if you have strong concerns. Here are some of the warning signs of poor care:

  • Children left unattended
  • Staff or providers are angry, rough, or moody with children or parents
  • Too many children crowded into a small space
  • Too few staff for the number for children present
  • Infants restricted to cribs, playpens, walkers, or high chairs
  • Noticeably dirty environment or children
  • Poor sanitation practices, especially related to diapering and feeding
  • Medications, poisons, or cleaning supplies stored improperly
  • Broken toys or unsafe equipment
  • High staff turnover
  • Your child cries repeatedly and resists staying at child care after adjustment period is over
  • Your child shows signs of emotional or physical stress
  • Your child talks about anger, violence, fears, or secrets that are not age-appropriate
  • Your child appears to be unusually afraid of one teacher or provider
  • Your child shows a sudden intense preoccupation with sexual matters, and may "act out" with dolls or other children
  • Your child appears to be very hungry or thirsty without cause

How to Register Complaints

Find out about the program's procedures for handling parent complaints. There should be a clear set of guidelines that explain complaint procedures and advise parents that unresolved complaints be sent to the appropriate child care licensing agency. If you have concerns about abuse or neglect, or your child care program's state licensing compliance, contact your state's licensing office and/or Department of Social Services Licensing Complaints. They will listen to your concerns and investigate the situation. Contact us for help with this process.

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WSU Child Care Resource & Referral - Region K,
PO Box 641410, Pullman WA 99164-1410 Provider Services: 1-800-440-2277, Referrals: 1-800-446-2229, Contact Us