Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 10: Licensing and Community Action

10.4 Facility Licensing

10.4.3 Procedures for Complaints, Reporting, and Data Collecting Whistle-Blower Protection under State Law

State law should ensure that caregivers/teachers and child care staff who report violation of licensing requirements in the settings where they work are immune from discharge, retaliation, or other disciplinary action for that reason alone, unless it is proven that the report was malicious.

Staff in child care facilities are in an excellent position to note areas of noncompliance with licensing requirements in the setting where they work. However, so that they feel safe about reporting these deficiencies, they must be assured immunity from retaliation by the child care facility unless the report is malicious. This immunity is best provided when a state statute mandates it. Individuals who report problems in their own workplace may be known as “whistle-blowers” (1).

Retaliatory complaints against a caregiver/teacher by disgruntled staff or parents/guardians at times serve only to harass the provider and expend valuable licensing resources or unnecessary work. States should recognize and develop a system to deal with these nuisance complaints. 

  1. U.S. Department of Labor, Northern Hudson Valley Job Services Employer Committee. 2010. Whistleblower protection laws. and Administration/Human Resources/Personnel Policies/WhistleblowerPro.htm.