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What should you think about when choosing a location for your child care center?

The following list is provided to help you think through what makes a good location for a child care center. 
  • Is the building in a safe area where child care is compatible with other existing activities?
  • Is it a safe, light, airy and attractive place for children and staff to spend ten to twelve hours a day? In determining maximum capacity, licensing regulates 35 square feet of floor per child where children will have access.
  • Is it safely accessible and convenient for parents to drop-off and pick-up children?  Is there adequate parking for staff, parents and visitors?
  • Does the building have available space for a business office and a lobby or reception area for parents and visitors? Is space available for staff breaks/meetings/conferences?
  • Is there an adequate number of toilets and hand sinks?  Licensing requires one toilet and hand washing sink for every fifteen children two years or older, a separate adult restroom, and at least one handicapped-accessible restroom.
  • Is there safe, adjacent outdoor play space for the children? U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Guidelines recommend at least 75 square feet of outdoor play space per child for half the center capacity.
  • Is there adequate storage (indoor and out) for the many materials necessary to support a quality program?
  • Is the site served by public water and sewer?  If not, call the MC311 and inquire about well and septic section of the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services at 240-777-0311.  You should ask for information on whether the on-site well and septic systems serving the property are adequate for the proposed child care facility.  Plan submittals may be required.  Approval of new or expanded systems is not guaranteed and can take significant time if testing is required.
  • Was the building constructed prior to 1978?  If so, has the building been tested for the presence of lead paint? Additional information is available from the EPA Lead Hotline.
  • Will the building meet all requirements for accessibility under the 1992 Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Visit the Department of Justice online version of the most recent standards for more information.