Child care providers will be subject to different types of inspections over the course of her career, likely occurring once a year each but at different times. While there are no federal guidelines for inspections, your states' guidelines will tell you how often to expect these inspections.
By ensuring that you always meet certain conditions, you can be sure that you will always pass an inspection whether it is scheduled or not.
For safety reasons, you may be required to submit to an inspection by your state's fire marshal's office. They will be checking that there are ways to escape a fire from each room of the home; including a way to get out of each room on upper floors. Fire escape routes should be posted, and fire drills practiced intermittently with the children.
You will need a sprinkler system or fire extinguisher and a smoke detector placed in each room where care is provided. Clear entries and stairways from obstructions so that everyone can get out in the event of fire.
Check with your state's office to determine if there are other requirements.
Child Care Licensing Department
The child care licensing department in your state will also perform an inspection of your home while meeting with you about what their licensing requirements. The representative from the Department may bring someone along from the Department of Public Safety. The inspection will check for safety measures, from how many children will be in your care at one time to where the knobs on your stove are.
The inspector will want to see a tidy home for children to be in, and where the children will play outside. The play area should be fenced in so that children cannot wander off, and others cannot wander in.
You are required to cover empty electrical outlets. Keep wires safely out of site. Cover stove knobs to the front of the appliance if possible.
Know where children will sleep, and provide mats for those sleeping on the floor. Be sure play equipment and toys are age-appropriate.
Have certificates available to show the inspector that prove that you have completed first-aid and CPR courses, as well as proof of the number of child care course hours you have completed. You will be required also to agree to background checks for child abuse and driving infractions.
The child care licensing department in your state can give you a full list of requirements for passing this inspection.
- amused baby image by Galina Barskaya from Fotolia.com