As a child care provider, you know that when it comes to working with children, anything that can happen, will happen. Unfortunately, one thing you may not have anticipated is finding yourself faced with a notice of a complaint and disciplinary proceedings. These involve serious allegations which could have a real impact on your license, your professional reputation, and your ability to earn a living.
You may think the best thing to do is give your side of the story, and any misunderstanding will be cleared up. However, a disciplinary proceeding is not always so simple, and you may quickly find yourself on the defensive, with your livelihood at risk. You've worked hard to provide a safe environment to the children you care for, and give their parents the comfort in knowing that their kids are in good hands. You deserve the same security when it comes to dealing with a disciplinary proceeding, knowing that you have an experienced attorney to help you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.
No-Obligation Case Assessment
With more than ten years of experience representing child care providers, I am familiar with how the proceedings work, and will clearly explain the entire process. I understand what is at stake in this difficult time, and will do my best to answer all your questions and concerns. During a no-obligation consultation, I will go through an in-depth analysis of your specific case, and we will discuss all your options.
If you decide to represent yourself, even during the initial investigation, you should understand that anything you say may later be used against you. I recommend contacting legal counsel as early as possible in the investigation process to best ensure that you keep all your options open, in order to protect your rights.
What to Expect
In the State of Washington, disciplinary complaints are handled by the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL). Complaints may be filed for a number of reason, including lack of adequate supervision, insufficient care, unsafe environment, or lack of proper sanitation. After a complaint has been filed, the Deptartment licensor will conduct an unannounced visit for observation, and will review documentation, and may interview staff, parents, and even the person who called in the complaint. If their investigation uncovers possible violations, then disciplinary action may be recommended.
You should consider contacting legal counsel with experience representing child care providers in administrative proceedings as soon as you learn of a possible investigation. Possible penalties include fines, suspension or revocation of your license.
The information provided here is intended to give you a brief overview of what you may be facing. Because every case is unique, I offer a no-obligation assessment to directly analyze the facts and circumstances of your individual case. Afterwards, I will be able to give you a clear understanding of what to expect, explain all your options, and you will have all your questions answered.
More information on the Washington State Department of Early Learning complaint process can be found at: http://www.del.wa.gov/care/about/complaints.aspx