Home Daycares

children and teacher in a home daycareAny home with a licensed daycare or group daycare must be inspected once during the lifetime of the daycare. In addition, basements and second floors must be approved prior to use. Inspections will be done by the OSFM, your local fire department, or other local jurisdiction. Some fire departments will choose to inspect home daycares once each year. If the daycare has moved to a different home, that home must be inspected as well.

To get an inspection for your home daycare:

NEW Licensure: Print out the Fire/Life Safety Agreement (2 Pages). When you submit your licensing application to KDHE, you will leave the Fire Inspection Section blank. KDHE will forward the information to OSFM and the inspection will be scheduled. Please note that you will keep the Fire/Life Safety Agreement until a fire offical arrives to conduct the inspection. You do not submit it to KDHE.

RENEWAL: OSFM does not conduct annual inspections of home daycares. However, many fire departments across the state will require an annual inspection. If yours does, you will need to contact them directly to schedule an inspection time.

Home Daycare FAQs

The Fire and Life Safety Agreement looks new?

In August 2010, OSFM consolidated the Home Daycare Checklist and the Fire and Life Safety Agreement into one form called the Fire and Life Safety Agreement. Each year you must renew the Fire and Life Safety Agreement which includes a self-inspection of your home in compliance with the fire codes. Each year, you must sign and date that you have reviewed the document and conducted the inspection. There is also a date on the form for you to place the date of the original fire offical inspection. To meet OSFM requirements; you do NOT have to have an annual fire inspection unless the local jurisdiction requires one.

What do I need to renew my license?

Some local fire departments may inspect your home each year when you renew your license. For the KSFMO, make sure you complete the Fire/Life Safety Agreement annually (to include a self-inspection checklist that you must sign-off on) and that the current year is posted. Additionally you need to make sure you keep your original fire inspection report that was conducted by a fire official (OSFM or Local Jurisdiction). If you need a new Fire/Life Safety Agreement or new Fire and Tornado Drill records, you can download them above.

Is there a fee for your inspection?

Although some local jurisdictions may charge a fee for performing an inspection, a fire safety inspection from the OSFM is performed at no charge.

I'm licensed as a home daycare but I operate out of a church. What do I have to do?

The OSFM will view your home daycare as a Childcare Center or a Preschool. You will need to go through the approval process as one of these facilities and you will be inspected once a year.

I have a fireplace or heater that I'm not planning to use while caring for children. Do I still need a barrier around it?

Yes. Even though you might plan on not using it, a secured barrier is still necessary around possible heat sources. This includes fireplaces, wall or floor heaters, wood-burning stoves, and other types of heaters.

Can I lock my front and back door?

According to NFPA, “a lock that functions as a latch or other fastening device so as to require not tools/keys and only one operation to release” is permitted. With this in mind OSFM will allow the following:

  • Locks on front and back doors can be engaged while daycare is in session, if the locks don’t require keys and only require one operation to release
  • Locks can be placed above the reach of children, as long as the lock is within 60 inches of the finished floor

I have stairs and small infants, can I use a baby gate?

Baby gates are a “necessary evil”. If the baby gates open with not much more difficulty than a standard door, then it will be judged to be ok. OSFM recommends using the hinged baby gates so it won’t become an obstruction by falling on the floor or becoming displaced.

Hook-and-eye closures on closet doors?

OSFM will allow hook-and-eye closures only IF the mechanism is well out of reach of children and there are no immediate means that would allow a child to reach it.

The State Fire Marshal's Office plays an important role in issuing licenses for child care providers, even though the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is the state agency that actually licenses child care providers. If you're not sure what type of license you need to apply for, please contact KDHE or visit them at www.kdheks.gov/bcclr.