Preparing Your Home for Child Care

The following recommendations meet and/or exceed the health and safety standards for certification. When preparing for your certification home visit, look over the Certification Home Visit Checklist below.

Certification Home Visit Checklist

Bathroom

  • The tub, sink and toilet must be clean.
  • All electrical appliances in the bathroom should be stored in a closed cabinet or drawer during day care hours. 
  • It is recommended that any toxins or other hazards NOT be stored in the bathroom (such as medications, cleaning supplies, razors, etc). A better alternative would be a different location either up high or locked.
  • Garbage should be covered and inaccessible to children.

Basement

  • Furnace/laundry area should have a locked door or be inaccessible for children.
  • All levels used for child care (including the basement) need 2 exits.
    Note: If you care doing child care in your basement and the second exit is a window, it can be no more than 46 inches above the floor that is capable of being opened from the inside without use of tool or removal of sash and which has a window opening size of at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches in height.

Emergency Planning

  • Working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be mounted on the ceiling on every level of your home even if some levels aren’t being used for child care.
  • Exits should be kept unblocked and free of clutter.
  • Emergency phone numbers posted by the phone should include 911, poison control and your phone number and address.

Kitchen

  • Floors should be clean, swept, mopped and/or vacuumed.
  • Knives and other sharp objects must be kept out of children’s reach or locked up. (Knife blocks are not allowed to be on the counter.)
  • Garbage should be in a covered container that is inaccessible to children.
  • Dog and cat food, water dishes and litter boxes must be inaccessible to children.
  • Tinfoil, plastic wrap and plastic bags should be inaccessible to children.

Outside

  • Concrete and asphalt are prohibited under climbing equipment, swings, and slides.
  • Bolts or screws on play equipment should be covered with plastic safety caps.
  • Wading pools are allowed, but they are not recommended. Sprinklers and other fun water toys are a better option.
  • Certified providers may not use in-ground or above ground pools, hot tubs, or large trampolines during day care hours and they must be inaccessible to children.
  • Large inflatable jumping toys may not be used.
  • Lawn should be free of animal excrement.
  • Be sure to check for other hazards around the yard and in the garage.

Playroom and Sleeping Areas

  • If you are using a crib, please see the CPSC guidelines
  • Infants under one year of age must be placed in a crib or pack’n play on their back for napping.
  • If you are providing overnight / 3rd shift care, we recommend children are sleeping on something more substantial than nap mats or sleeping bags.

Throughout Your Home

  • Remove cords that are frayed, cut or located where children could easily trip or pull heavy objects on to themselves (lamps, irons, etc.).
  • Closets should be free of hazards or locked so they are inaccessible to children.
  • Door knob covers or gates are recommended for any rooms children should not have access to.
  • Make sure that all painted surfaces are free of chipping or peeling paint.
  • Poisonous plants should be removed from the home or kept in a place inaccessible to children.
  • Safety outlet plugs should be installed in all rooms children have access to.
  • Firearms and ammunition must be locked and out of children’s reach. Ammunition should be stored separately from the firearm.
  • Cleaning supplies should be locked or inaccessible to children.
  • The Window Covering Safety Council – which offers free retrofit kits and window-cord safety information – encourages caregivers to follow these basic window cord-safety precautions:
    • Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
    • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
    • Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
    • Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
    • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement on inner cords on blinds and shades.