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Parents  >  Using Child Care  >  Concerns


Warning Signs of Poor Care

If you have a problem or concerns with your child care, make time to speak with the director or provider as soon as possible. Remember to trust your instincts and ask a lot of questions. If you still have concerns after speaking with your provider, you may want to move your child to a new program.


If you suspect any type of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you should take your child out of the program right away. Any disturbing stories from your child should never be ignored. Do not bring him/her back until the situation is investigated or resolved to your complete satisfaction. Look for a new child care setting that will be of a higher quality than the one you are leaving.


Here are some of the warning signs of poor care:

  • Children left unattended
  • Staff or providers are angry, rough, or moody with children or parents
  • Too many children crowded into a small space
  • Too few staff for the number of children present
  • Infants restricted to cribs, playpens, walkers, or high chairs
  • Noticeably dirty environment or children, unclean or unsupervised pets
  • Poor sanitation practices, especially related to diapering and feeding
  • Medications, poisons, or cleaning supplies stored improperly
  • Broken toys or unsafe equipment
  • High staff turnover
  • Your child cries repeatedly and resists staying at child care after adjustment period is over
  • Your child shows signs of emotional or physical stress
  • Your child talks about anger, violence, fears, or secrets that are not age-appropriate
  • Your child appears to be unusually afraid of one teacher or provider
  • Your child shows a sudden intense preoccupation with sexual matters, and may act out with dolls or other children
  • Your child appears to be very hungry or thirsty without cause
  • Reliance on television or videos to entertain children
  • Unfenced outdoor play area

How to Register Complaints

Find out about the program's procedures for handling parent complaints. There should be a clear set of guidelines that explain complaint procedures. Any unresolved complaints can be brought to the attention of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

You can call them at 631-240-2560 and they will look into all complaints against child care providers. If you are concerned about child abuse you should contact Child Protective Services at 800-635-1522.

Please feel free to contact us for help with this process. We want to know if there are serious problems with any providers in our referral data base.


If you have a problem or concerns with your child care, make time to speak with the director or provider as soon as possible