How to make a complaint against your licensed childcare provider

If you feel your concerns warrant a call to the DCFS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, please phone 1-800-252-2873 to speak with the Hotline staff.

If you feel your child’s home day care provider or center staff has violated licensing standards, making a complaint is easy.


Call the Day Care Information Hotline at 1-877-746-0829 and ask for the name and number for the licensing representative assigned to your provider. You may then call the licensing representative or his/her supervisor and discuss your concerns.

You may also find the licensing office that covers the location of the facility here.

and then call to make your complaint, asking to speak to the day care Supervisor or any of the day care staff available.

You may make a complaint by mail, e-mail, fax, or in-person.

You may remain anonymous, although please be advised that DCFS licensing staff do not provide information as to the identity of the complainant. Because of details specific to the incident you are reporting , it might not be difficult for the provider to guess, but DCFS will never confirm or deny the identity of a complainant. If you remain anonymous, we will not be able to provide you with the results of your complaint. Please consider leaving a telephone number even if you wish to remain anonymous, so that the licensing representative can contact you if further information is needed as the investigation develops.

A DCFS day care Licensing Representative has 2 business days to begin the complaint investigation once the complaint is assigned to them. A complaint is initiated by an unannounced visit to the center or home. During the complaint investigation, the licensing representative will gather evidence to make a determination regarding the specific allegations from the complaint. If other violations are observed in addition to your allegations, these will be added to the complaint.

If any violations are found, the complaint will be “substantiated” and a corrective plan will be developed. If the substantiated violations are serious, numerous, or a repeat of previously-cited violations, the Department may choose to pursue enforcement action, up to and including a recommendation to revoke the license. If the violations found create a situation where a child’s health and safety are in immediate danger, the Department will pursue an Administrative Order of Closure to insure the facility closes until a revocation recommendation is upheld.

Most complaints can be finished in 30-60 days. If the complaint is a concurrent investigation, meaning Child Protection (D.C.P.) is also conducting an investigation of allegations of abuse or neglect, the day care complaint must remain open until D.C.P. finishes.If you have provided contact information, you should receive a letter stating whether or not the investigation found violations of the licensing standards or Childcare Act. Further information may be obtained by filing a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. A link to the instructions on how to file a FOIA request can be found here.