Child Care Centers

The Environmental Health section completes sanitation inspections on all child care centers in Johnston County twice each fiscal year, and one time in each six-month period. All child care centers are licensed by the Division of Child Development and inspections performed by this department are forwarded to their agency.


New Rules for the Sanitation of Child Care Centers became effective July 1st, 2023. Here is the link to the new Rules and a quick resource highlighting the changes: 

.2800 Sanitation of Child Care Centers

Summary of New Rules Quick Guide


Items evaluated during the inspection include:

  • Handwashing
  • Food sources and storage, protection and service
  • Kitchen requirements
  • Cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation areas
  • Water supply and temperatures
  • Diaper-changing procedures and facility
  • Storage areas
  • Chemical and medicine storage
  • Beds, cots and linens
  • Overall cleaning and sanitizing of the facility
  • Construction of the facility
  • Lighting and thermal environment
  • Control of communicable disease
  • Outdoor learning environment and premises


A score card is posted at the center that states the classification and number of demerits noted during the inspection. A center receives a superior classification if the demerits do not exceed 15 and no six-point violations are found. The center is classified as approved if the demerit score is more than 15 but less than 30, and no six-point demerits are noted. A provisional classification is issued when the demerit score is more than 30 but does not exceed 45, or if any six-point demerit item is violated. The center has seven days to repair all provisional violations. A center is classified as disapproved if the demerit score is more than 45, or if the conditions that resulted in a provisional classification have not been repaired in the time period specified by the Department.

Constructing a New Child Care Center

If you are constructing a new child care center, before initiating construction you must submit equipment specifications and the Plan Review Application to this office.

Plan Review Application for Child Care Centers

Important Links

Page last updated:  April 5, 2024

Todd Ramsey

309 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

Phone: (919) 989-5180
Fax: (919) 989-5190

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