Complaint Process

To register a complaint about a licensed family child care home, call 320-208-6600 or email us (this email is not checked outside of business hours). If it is an emergency please call 911.

To register a complaint about an unlicensed child care provider who is operating illegally, i.e., taking care of children from multiple families, call 320-208-6600, or email us.

The Complaint Process

Stevens County child care licensing is required to investigate possible violations of family child care licensing rules (disputes regarding contractual issues are not investigated by licensing). This is usually through a face to face contact between the family child care provider and the licensor. Under the licensing rule, the licensor does have the right to enter the home at any time the family child care program is in operation. The provider must be told of the allegations, but information pertaining to the reporter is always confidential (However, if the allegations result in court proceedings, the identity of the reporter may be disclosed). Once the investigation is completed a finding is made by the agency. The agency makes one of the following findings:

  • Occurred - This means that the facts contained in the complaint were found to be true. This finding could result in a correction order, negative action, or some other form of correction as deemed appropriate by the licensor, the county attorney, and the program supervisor. A negative action recommendation to Department of Human Services (DHS) would only be taken in the most serious cases.
  • Did Not Occur - This means that after investigation the licensor found the complaint to be false. Usually no further action is taken.
  • No Determination - This means that after investigation the licensor was unable to make a positive finding as to whether or not the facts alleged in the complaint were true. Licensing staff may offer suggestions or corrections if warranted.

After the Complaint

All complaints are retained in the licensing file. The Minnesota Data Privacy Act prevents Stevens County from releasing certain information about the complaint, such as any identifying information about the reporter. However, the nature of the complaint, such as lack of supervision or overcapacity, is considered Public Information once the investigation is completed. The Minnesota Data Privacy Act requires the release of the basic complaint information, the results of the investigation (Occurred, Did Not Occur, No Determination) and whether or not any corrective action was taken as a result. Parents may contact the provider if they want more information than the agency can provide in any given case.

Family Child Care Provider’s Rights

Family Child Care providers have the right to give input into the process. The provider has the right to appeal a correction order or negative action if she or he feels it is incorrect. Information on the appeal process is included within the correction order document and negative action letter.