Child care centers and family day cares are licensed by the Jefferson County Health Department. The environmental health section of the Health Department is responsible for the sanitation inspections of the centers. The centers must also meet the requirements set forth in the “Rules Governing the Sanitation of Child Care Centers.”
There are three levels of childcare that require a permit from the county health department:
Day Care Center:
A child care center which provides child care for thirteen (13) or more children on a nonresidential basis.
Family Day Care Facility:
A child care center which is used to provide child care for seven (7) to twelve (12) children, including children who are living in the household who are less than six (6) years of age. No more than four (4) of the total number of children may be less than twenty-four (24) months of age.
Nursery Schools and Preschools:
A child care center which is used to provide child care for seven (7) or more children for 2 or more hours a day not accredited by the state department of education.
The proper forms for a permit as well as educational handouts for operating a child/daycare are listed below:
- Day Care Regulations
- Checklist for Day Care Center
- Complete the Application for Permit-to-Operate a Child Care Center within fifteen (15) days before the actual or proposed operation of the day care center is scheduled to begin.
- Complete an Application for Permit-to-Operate a Food Service Facility if meals will be prepared on the premises.
- WV Legislative Rules, 64 CSR 21, governing Child Care Centers states that:
“The division of health (Jefferson County Health Department) shall deny permission to construct, extend, alter, or modify the building of structure, if the information on the application, plans, specifications or supporting documentation in incomplete, inaccurate, false or misleading, or indicates that the applicable provisions of this rule cannot be met.”
The child care center must be constructed, extended, altered or modified as approved by this department, any additional modifications or deviations must first receive approval.
A completed Plan Review (SG-99) for Child Care Center must be submitted within forty-five (45) days prior to the actual date that the construction, extension, alteration, or modification is to begin. The Plan Review must show, but not be limited to, detailed plans and specifications of the proposed facility to include: a plot layout, floor plans, building specifications, type of material used, a list of food service equipment, the type of potable and waste water treatment systems, and the type of heating and ventilation systems. A completed Plan Review Information Report for Food Service Establishments SF-35 must accompany the Child Care Center Plan Review, if meals will be prepared on the premises.
Water System — If the child care center is not on a public water system but is being served by an individual water supply (well) a water sample must be collected by the health department. (Water Sample Request is not available online.) Super chlorination of the well is highly recommended prior to actual sampling. Do not use bleach that has been scented. The water will be tested for bacterial contamination only.
However, if the child care center is providing care of greater than 25 children and staff (total) the center will be required to be registered as a “Public Water System,” this registration requires a Class 1 operator, the installation of a chlorinator/holding tank system, and additional testing be accomplished to include a “Ground Water Under Direct Influence” (GWUDI) test. For additional information on this requirement, please contact the Department of Health and Human Resources, Environmental Division, in Kearneysville, WV at (304) 725-9453.
- Septic System — If the center is served by a private septic system, the system must be evaluated to ensure it is an approved system and in good repair. The system may have to be enlarged if it is determined that not enough drainfield exists to serve the facility. (Septic System Evaluation Package not available online.)
- Lead Paint — If the facility was built prior to 1978, a Lead Risk Assessment conducted of the facility by a licensed lead risk assessor and a written report must be submitted (not available online). Please contact the Department of Health and Human Resources, Office Lead & Indoor Air Program in Charleston at (304) 558-2981 with any questions about lead testing. Because of the dangers associated with working with lead to both adults and children, any removal or abatement must only be done by a certified lead abatement contractor.
- Pest Control — In Jefferson County, it is required that all day care centers have an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program in place. This requires that your contractor be CAT 8E Certified in IPM. The facility shall be free of insects and rodents at all times.
- Animals — Dogs and cats must be currently vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and leptospirosis. The children’s outside play area must be completely separated from the quartering areas of dogs and cats. No animals or litter boxes are allowed in the kitchen. (Please refer to your blue regulation book, section 64-21-7. Animals)
- Commerical Kitchen Equipment — Commercial kitchen equipment (such as a stove or refrigerator) are not required in the kitchen if less than 32 children are being cared for in the facility, however, the installation of a 3-Vat Sink and Handwashing Sink are still required.
- State Fire Marshall — You must also contact the State Fire Marshall at (304) 558-2191 to ensure you meet the requirements for fire safety.
- Office of Planning, Zoning, & Engineering — You may need to contact the office of zoning to ensure your property can be used for the purposes of a day care center. The may be reached at (304) 728-3228. Be sure to provide them with your Tax Map, Parcel Number, and district information.
After you have completed the above process and obtained your permit to operate a Day Care Center and Food Service Establishment (if meals are prepared on the premises), the final step you must take is to obtain “Day Care Center Licensure” from the State Division of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) — see blue booklet (available from the Health Department) for contact numbers. To obtain a copy of the regulatory requirements for state licensure, you may visit the (DHHR) website at www.wvdhhr.org and look under “Start a Child Care Center.” They have a “Child Care Center Information Packet” to help answer any questions you may have and to give additional guidance.
Please complete and return the enclosed applications/forms to:
Jefferson County Health Department
1948 Wiltshire Road
Kearneysville, WV 25430
If you have any questions, please contact this department at (304) 728-8416
Mon – Fri, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm for further assistance.