While 4Cs does not regulate child care facilities, we do track parental complaints in order to ensure the continued quality of child care referrals.
Child care complaints handled by the 4Cs are subject to the following policy adopted by the agency Board of Directors. Procedures to implement the Complaint Policy have also been adopted by the Board of Directors and are subject to periodic review.
Complaints related to child care in licensed homes or centers are received and handled by 4Cs staff according to established procedures. The procedures below apply when complaints are received by 4Cs staff from individuals regarding any child center/family child care home in 4Cs' referral files. Complaints may originate from a variety of sources including:
- Parent/consumer of child care services (during follow-up, intake or other circumstances)
- Interested, concerned individuals
- Community Care Licensing, Child Protective Services, or other Human Service Agency
Complaints originating from the above sources and received by 4Cs that are considered licensing violations (i.e., health and safety violations, over-enrollment, child abuse or neglect) are processed as follows:
1. Complaint is documented
2. Parent or complainant is referred to Community Care Licensing and/or other appropriate agency/ies
3. 4Cs staff does a follow-up call to licensing to ensure complaint has been filed by the concerned individual
4. If the licensing violation/complaint has not been filed, 4Cs reports the documented information received from the complainant 4Cs makes no assumption of guilt or innocence based on the documented complaint.
4Cs has no authority to directly investigate received complaints, but relies on designated investigative agency/ies for follow-up reports. The agency's policy of confidentiality will be strictly applied regarding all complaints. The Program Committee of the Board of Directors is available to review adherence to established procedures. Conflicts which may arise will be resolved by the Appeal Committee.
- A child care center/family child care home can be placed on a temporary hold from referrals when an investigation is being conducted regarding alleged serious health and safety violations which could affect the health and welfare of a child/children in that particular child care setting.
- Child care centers/family child care homes are removed from 4Cs' referral files when their license is revoked by Community Care Licensing or there is a probationary period on the license.
- A child care center/family child care home can be permanently removed from 4Cs' referral files by the complaint committee after following 4Cs' procedure for removal. This action is based on serious or life threatening situations.
Regardless of the type of complaint, the welfare and safety of children will be the primary focus of 4Cs.
What is Oliver's Law?
Oliver's Law (AB 458 Zettel), effective January 1, 2000, requires every child care resource and referral program and every alternative payment program to advise every person who requests child care referrals of his or her right to 1) the licensing information of a licensed child care facility, which is required to be maintained at each facility and 2) access to any public files pertaining to the facility, available at Community Care Licensing Peninsula District office.
What does this new law mean to parents looking for child care?
When a parent calls 4Cs for a referral, all referral counselors must advise them of their right to obtain licensing information, which includes reports pertaining to visits and substantiated complaint investigations of licensed child care facilities. Counselors must also strongly recommend that parents review a potential child care provider's licensing's history, available at CCL offices, before placing their child in a child care facility.
What does Oliver's Law mean to licensed child care facilities?
State law requires all licensed providers to make accessible to the public copies of any licensing reports pertaining to their facility that document facility visits or substantiated complaint violations.
What if the facility is not licensed?
Depending on a family's child care needs, referrals may be made to license-exempt programs such as parent co-ops, park and recreation programs, and certain after-school programs. If making such referrals, counselors must advise parents that certain programs are legally exempt from licensing and recommend that parents ask program staff at these exempt programs about their complaint policies and procedures.
Where can parents access the licensing history of a child care provider?
Parents may obtain a child care facility's licensing history, including complete files on complaints and violations, from the Community Care Licensing office in San Bruno, 650-266-8843.