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Concerns in Child Care
Once you choose a child care provider, there will be many positive experiences. You may also have some concerns. This page has resources for those special situations. You may also want to read our child care consumer statement.
Topics of Concern
- Filing a Complaint Against a Child Care Home or Center
- Filing a Complaint Against a License Exempt Provider
- Child Abuse and Neglect Complaints
- Serious Injuries, Death and Substantiated Abuse in Child Care Settings
- Suspension and Expulsion in Michigan Early Childhood Programs
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) handles complaints against child care homes, centers or facilities operating without a license.1 To make a complaint, you can fill out the Online Complaint Form. You can also call 866-856-0126 to make a complaint, or print and complete a paper Complaint Form. Your name will be kept private and will not be released unless ordered by the court. Mail or fax paper complaint forms to:
Bureau of Community and Health Systems
Children and Adult Licensing - Complaint Intake Unit
611 W. Ottawa, 1st Floor
PO Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
For more information visit the LARA How to Make a Complaint page.
1 If you are making a complaint regarding a home, center, or camp operating without a license, you must indicate how you know they are operating without a license.
To make a complaint about the abuse or neglect of a child in a child care facility, call centralized intake at 1-855-444-3911.
The Child Development and Care (CDC) Office within the Michigan Department of Education handles complaints against license exempt providers. Call 1-866-990-3227 to make a complaint against a license exempt provider.
No matter what type of child care you choose, accidents can happen. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) tracks serious injuries, deaths, and abuse in licensed child care. Within 24 hours of a serious injury, or death, licensed child care providers must verbally report it to LARA. Licensed child care providers must submit a written report of the incident to LARA within 72 hours of the verbal report using the Incident Report form. A special investigation is often begun to assure the health and safety of the children in care at the location reported.
License exempt providers must report a serious injury or death of a child in child care within five days by completing a License Exempt Provider Serious Injury Report form and submitting it to the Michigan Department of Education.
What is a Serious Injury?
A serious injury is an injury that requires medical attention from a healthcare provider. A serious injury includes, but is not limited to,
- bone fractures,
- substantial hematoma,
- and injuries to internal organs.
What is a Death in Child Care?
Death in child care is the death of a child that occurred while the child was in a licensed home or center.
What is a Substantiated Child Abuse?
Child abuse means harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs through nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment, by a parent, a legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare, or by a teacher, a teacher’s aide, or a member of the clergy.
Substantiated means a child protective services case classified as a central registry case. An individual substantiated for child abuse or neglect would be placed on central registry. Central registry is the system that is used to keep a record of all reports filed with the department where child abuse and child neglect have been found to exist.
Child Fatality and Serious Injury Report in Child Care
|Facility Type||Number of Licensed Facilities||Capacity of Children||Deaths In Child Care||Serious Injury
|Substantiated Child Abuse/Neglect|
N/A = Data not available
2All data are based upon incidents reported to Child Care Licensing. Licensing Rules require all child care facilities to make a verbal report to the department within 24 hours of a serious injury, accident, illness, or medical treatment or hospitalization at a health facility, or which results in a death.
3 Broken bones in child care are often the result of children either falling off of playground equipment or having other accidents. It is not uncommon for the number of broken bones to increase during warmer weather months when children are outside playing.
Adults and children both do their best at work and school when their own needs are met. When a child seems to misbehave, it is sometimes hard to understand. Their behavior may show that they need help dealing with their feelings, or don’t feel well, or learn in a different way. Challenging behaviors do not mean that a child is “bad” or unable to learn. Suspending or expelling a young learner may mean that parents and teachers aren’t meeting the child’s real need. So, it is important to use best practices to keep a child in the learning setting as much as possible.
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) believes that programs should only suspend or expel young children as a very last resort. Some programs, like Head Start and the Great Start Readiness Program, prohibit suspensions and expulsions. For more information, view the MDEs Guidance for developing prevention of suspension/expulsion policies for children 0-8. Find resources related to suspension expulsion prevention on the suspension and expulsion prevention page.