Wisconsin Department of Children and Families - Division of Early Care and Education
Bureau of Early Care Regulation
Child Care Certification Policy Manual
All complaints/incidents that suggest imminent danger may exist to the health, safety and welfare of children in care shall be responded to no later than the next day after the agency receives the complaint (see section 4).
Note: A “response” from the certification agency is an activity or action on the part of the agency. Depending on the nature of the complaint/incident the action could include a referral to another agency with jurisdiction or a site visit, for example.
When entering the complaint intake in WISCCRS the certification worker should indicate whether or not the complaint allegation requires immediate attention. The worker does this by checking the box “Requires Immediate Attention”.
Click on the check box if the complaint/incident requires immediate attention and should be investigated immediately. This check box is used when the complaint/incident suggests imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the children in care.
In assessing the need for an immediate response, the certification worker should consider the following:
The reported role of the operator / provider in the event / incident
The extent of actual harm that has occurred to children in care
The extent of potential harm the alleged violation(s) poses to children
The historical probability that the alleged violations described have not been corrected or will recur
The risk profile of the children in the certified program. For example, infants and toddlers are more vulnerable than older children. The same violation may signal more risk in one program than it would in another with different clientele.
The probability that other rules, besides those alleged to have been violated in the complaint/incident, may also have been violated
When the allegation(s) in the complaint or self-reported incident suggests imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the children in care, an immediate response by the certification agency is warranted. The following are examples of allegations that may warrant an immediate response:
Fatalities or serious injuries of child while in care or related to care
Allegations of child abuse or neglect.
Criminal activity related to an operator / facility / staff including sexual misconduct or assaults, violence or threats of violence, drug dealing, etc.
Missing children, even if the child has been found. For example, a child found wandering away from a program, or left in a van or at the site of a field trip.
Fires and other major disasters. For example, wind or water damage, explosions, etc.
Lack of environmental protections such as heat, water, electricity
Note: The examples above are not all-inclusive. The certification worker should consider the nature of the allegation(s), requirements, s.48.686 and the operator’s compliance history, and exercise discretion when making a determination how quickly the certification worker shall respond.
This page last updated 01/2020.