Day Care and Nursery School Requirements (PDF, 7 pages, 189 KB)

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Prior to creating a day care facility with 13 or more children, or a nursery school with 21 or more children, you MUST obtain a construction permit from the State Fire Marshal's office. You may contact the Plans Review Office at the State Fire Marshal by calling (207) 626-3880.

Daycare facilities are primary care givers for our nation's young. With this in mind, a certain minimum set of fire safety requirements must be provided in facilities caring for children of other families. The Department of Public Safety elected many years ago to adopt a nationally recognized set of standards for day care facilities and other types of occupancies. The National Fire Protection Association produces the code which was selected and which was found to be the most popular. These minimum requirements were written and approved by a wide variety of people from all walks of life. All requirements have been thoroughly investigated for intent and expenses associated with meeting these requirements. The Department of Public Safety does not wish to add undue costs or hardships to any provider or recipient of services. Many requirements found in the fire code have alternative remedies or systems of protection that may lessen the burden on developing a day care facility.

Understanding Day Care Requirements

  • Day Care facilities are divided into three general groups according to the number of children or adults which are cared for at one given time.
    • Day care centers- offering care to more than 12 children or adults
    • Group day care homes- offering care to from 7 to 12 children or adults
    • Day care home- offering care to 6 or fewer children or adults

Adults have been added to this category because of the increased need for adult day care facilities. Adult day care facilities providing care on a daily basis to adults requiring special care whether it's because of mental, physical, or just special age needs will be required to meet these same requirements. The minimum requirements are different for all three categories of day care. These differences are based on the different numbers of clients for the three categories.

Nursery schools are required by Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 22 8403 to meet the requirements of day care facilities. If the nursery school cares for 6 or fewer clients the facility must meet the requirements of a home day care. If the nursery school cares for more than 6 but not more than 12 clients the facility must meet the requirements of a group day care. If the nursery school cares for more than 20 clients the facility must meet the requirements for a day care center.