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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 new CPSC guidelines http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5023.pdf
- 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.
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young 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.