Who to Call about a Child Care Complaint?

Child Care Homes

These are homes that are not registered and by law can care for five or fewer children at the non-registered location. Iowa does not regulate these homes. If these homes care for five or more children at one time, they are required to be registered. A child is defined as being in child care and counted if one of the following describes that child's situation.

Infants and preschool children of the provider when their care and supervision is being provided at the child care location.

  • Infants and preschool children that are not the provider's children.
  • School age children that are not the provider's children, and are not considered to have a developmental disability as defined under federal law, are counted through age twelve.
  • School age children with a developmental disability, that are not the provider's children, are counted through age eighteen.
  • The school age children of the provider are counted in the total number of children when they regularly stay home for home-schooling. NOTE: The provider's school-age children are not counted during school breaks and days off of school when the provider's children regularly attend school.

If parents or the public have good reason to believe a non-registered child care home has more than five children in care at any one time, please report the problem to the local DHS office. The contact information for each local DHS office is available by clicking on this link, http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/Consumers/Find_Help/MapLocations.html.

Registered Child Development Homes

Parents choosing registered child development homes for child care and early education or school-aged child care should receive the "Parent Guide to Child Development Home Registration, Form SS-0702-3. This guide provides a summary of the requirements for registration as a child development home. This guide and the Child Development Home Registration Guidelines, Comm. 143 can be found by clicking on this link, http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/policyanalysis/PolicyManualPages/Manual_Documents/Master/comm143.pdf.

If parents or the public have good reason to believe a child development home does not meet these requirements, please report the problem to the local DHS office. The contact information for each local DHS office is available at the following link, http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/Consumers/Find_Help/MapLocations.html.

Licensed Child Care Centers and Preschools

Parents choosing child care centers and preschools for child care and early education or school-aged child care should have access to Child Care Centers and Preschool Licensing Standard and Procedures, Comm. 204. at the child care center or preschool. This handbook contains the requirements for licensing and can also be found by clicking on this link, http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/policyanalysis/PolicyManualPages/Manual_Documents/Master/comm204.pdf.

If parents or the public have good reason to believe a center does not meet these requirements, please report the problem to child care consultant assigned to that center. Their name, mailing address, and telephone number is required to be posted in the center. The contact information for each child care consultant in Iowa, their contact information and the contact information for their supervisor and support staff is available at the following link, Iowa Child Care Consultants .

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