Childcare Centers

childcare centerPreschools and childcare centers care for children from infancy up to the age of 16. Licensure through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is required for a vast majority of these programs. The OSFM plays a role in inspecting and approving these facilities, which include all-day childcare, school-age programs, before and after school programs, part-day preschools, and head start programs. The OSFM combines all these into two categories: preschools and childcare centers.

Preschools: In order for a facility to be considered a preschool by OSFM, all of the following conditions must be met:

1.  All children are 3 years of age or older, up to age 16, and

2.  Sessions are not more than three hours per day, and

3.  Children are enrolled in only one session per day, and

4.  Meals are not served, and

5.  Napping does not take place.

If all these conditions are met, the facility is considered a 'preschool' and must meet the inspection requirements for a Group E Occupancy.

Childcare Centers: If any of the following conditions are met, the facility is considered a childcare center by OSFM:

1.  Provides care and educational activities for any children between the ages of two weeks and three years, or

2.  Sessions last between three hours and a full day, or

3.  Care is provided for more than three hours and less than 24 hours per day, or

4.  Meals are served, or

5.  Napping takes place.

If any of these conditions are met, the facility is considered a 'childcare center' and must meet the inspection requirements for a Group I-4 Occupancy.  Childcare centers, especially those with children under 30 months, must meet a greater fire and life safety burden than education occupancies. Because of the younger children and their inability to preserve their own life in the event of an emergency, more stringent requirements are in place to compensate.

Childcare Center FAQs

 

Our facility was recently inspected by our local fire department and they are requiring additional safeguards? Do we have to comply?

Local jurisictions may impose greater requirements than those set by the OSFM, however, they can not approve less than what is required by KSFMO. The facility owners and operators are responsible for insuring state and local requirements are met.

What is required for new facilities or facilities that need to have their license amended?

Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) requires OSFM approval for many things, including the licensing of new facilities, amendments to existing facilities, and changes in facility name or ownership. This is sometimes referred to as "Fire Marshal Approval."

What does "Fire Marshal Approval" mean?

It means that the plans of your facility or proposed changes to your facility have been reviewed for compliance with the Kansas Fire Prevention Code. "Fire Marshal Approval" is NOT the same thing as an inspection.

What is required for new facilities?

  • 24 or less children – submit C.2.2. and scaled drawing to OSFM.
  • 25 or more children – submit C.2.2., C.2.2.A. and code footprint to OSFM.

What is required for a license amendment that involves changing the numbers or children?

  • 24 or less children – submit C.2.2. and scaled drawing to OSFM.
  • 25 or more children – submit C.2.2., C.2.2.A. and code footprint to OSFM.

Where do I send my paperwork?

You can mail paperwork to Office of the State Fire Marshal, 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 104, Topeka, Kansas, 66612. You can also fax materials to 785-296-0151, but please be aware that the process of faxing plans or drawings can sometimes render them unreadable.

Do I need an annual inspection?

Yes. In major cities, start by calling your local fire department and request an inspection. For most other facilities, your annual inspection will be regularly scheduled by the OSFM office and you will not need to request one.

What's included in the packet I might receive from your office?

The following forms, including all the information on this page, are included in packets from our office. All this information is available online. If you are unable to access needed information, call our main office line at 785-296-3401 and request a packet.