Reporting Child Care Complaints and Investigations

Any complaint made against a child care provider should be reported to the appropriate child care licensing unit (Click here to see List of Statewide Child Care Licensing Units). The licensing unit will determine whether there is a child care law or licensing rule violation that needs to be investigated. If an investigation is warranted, the child care licensing unit shall conduct an unannounced visit to the provider’s home or child care facility.

In accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §346-152.3 (Click here to review HRS §346-152.3), upon receiving a report that a person may be caring for more than two children unrelated to the caregiver by blood, marriage, or adoption, or providing care for a child for more than six hours per week, without a child care license issued by the department, the department may conduct an investigation for the limited purpose of determining the number of children in care who are unrelated to the caregiver by blood, marriage, or adoption, and the number of hours of care provided per week, in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. The department may request access to the location indicated in the report; or
  2. The department may file a complaint with the district court in the circuit where the location indicated in the report is; and the district court, upon probable cause, may issue a search warrant, directed to the department and the appropriate county police department, if necessary, to conduct an investigation pursuant to this section between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

In accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §346-153 (Click here to review HRS §346-153), the department shall maintain records for the current and previous two years of the results of its inspections; notifications to the providers of any deficiencies cited, corrective action taken, results of its investigations, resolutions of complaints. Such records shall be available for the public to review in accordance with HRS section 92-51, provided that with respect to the records of family child care homes and group child care homes, sensitive personal information or information provided to the department with the understanding it would not be publicly divulged shall be deleted or obliterated prior to making the records available to the public.

The department shall not release the names of or any other identifying information on the complainants. The department may withhold information on a complaint investigation for not more than ten working days following the date of filing of the complaint, provided that if an investigation relates to an alleged criminal offense, no information shall be released to the public until the investigation has been completed and the director has determined that no legal proceeding will be jeopardized by its release.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect

If a complaint allegation concerns the abuse or neglect of a child, please contact the Department of Human Services’ Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline at (808) 832-5300 for Oahu and Toll Free number from neighbor islands: 1-888-380-3088.