FAQs - Child Care Center/Educational Facility Indoor Health Assessment

The following information is provided to assist indoor environmental consultants and child care center/educational facility operators/owners in acquiring a Safe Building Interior Certification, as required under the Standards for Indoor Environment Certification and for Licensure of Indoor Environmental Consultants (N.J.A.C. 8:50).


Who Must Obtain Approval from the Department of Health?

Child care centers and educational facilities must obtain an approval letter from the Department of Health (NJDOH) if the facility meets any of the following criteria:

  • The center or educational facility is in a building constructed prior to 1979.
  • The prior or current use of the building and/or property was/is used for industrial, storage, or other high hazard purpose. This includes being used as a nail salon, a dry cleaner or a gas station.  These categories may be is classified as Groups B, S, F and H as defined by the Uniform Construction Code.
  • The location is on a contaminated site or on a property where contamination is suspected.
  • The center or educational facility is referred to the Department of Health (NJDOH) by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Children and Family (DCF), Department of Education, or local construction official (LCO), due to a prior use of the building or property which is of concern.
  • The center or educational facility is co-located in a building with a dry cleaner and/or nail salon.
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What is an Indoor Environmental Health Assessment (IEHA)?

An IEHA is an evaluation conducted to assess conditions inside a building which may impact the health of its occupants. The assessment must evaluate the whole indoor environment, not just indoor air. The IEHA includes an evaluation of the historical uses and operations in the building as well as current activities which may impact the indoor environment. Additionally, child care centers or educational facilities that are co-located in a building or other structure that contains a dry cleaner or nail salon MUST obtain indoor air sampling results to demonstrate that there is no impact to the child care center or educational facility.

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What is a Safe Building Interior Certification?

A Safe Building Interior Certification (SBIC) is issued by the NJDOH for a child care center or educational facility when all the requirements to acquire a SBIC have been satisfied.

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Are all child care centers/educational facilities required to have an IEHA conducted?

Only child care centers or educational facilities that fall into any of the categories indicated above need to have an IEHA done. Child care operators/owners who are not sure if an IEHA will be required, should contact their DCF inspector, who will determine if an IEHA and SBIC is required.

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Is sampling required to be performed as part of the IEHA?

Sampling is not required but may be necessary as part of the IEHA. Sampling should be performed if there is a concern that contaminants identified during the IEHA may be impacting the facility’s indoor environment. Sampling must be based upon information obtained during the IEHA. Sampling may include wipe samples, dust samples, bulk samples or air samples. The environmental consultant will recommend the appropriate samples to be collected in order to assess the conditions in the building or complex.

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What happens after completing the IEHA?

Once the IEHA is complete and the consultant certifies that it meets all the regulatory requirements, it must be submitted (along with the fee and any other required information) to the NJDOH for review. Following the review, NJDOH will conduct an inspection of your center and provide documentation that the facility has been approved.

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Do I have to pay a fee to the DOH when I renew my child care center license?

If the DCF has determined that your center needs to have NJDOH approval to renew your license, a fee to obtain a Safe Building Interior Certification will be required.  The initial fee is $1500, but for renewal submissions, the fee varies, so you will need to contact your NJDOH inspector to determine the fee amount you will be required to pay.

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Do I have to have NJDOH approve my child care center each time I renew my license?

The DCF will determine if your center needs to have NJDOH evaluate your center when renewing your license.  Generally, if your center was required to have a NJDOH approval previously, NJDOH will most likely need to conduct an environmental review of your center again to determine if conditions have changed.

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Do I need an IEHA when renewing my child care center license?

Most centers will not need to conduct a full IEHA at the time of renewal.  Only areas that were of concern initially, or where conditions have changed, will need to be evaluated.  When renewing your license, the DCF will determine if your center must obtain a Safe Building Interior Certification from the DOH. If the DCF has determined that your center requires an NJDOH review, please contact NJDOH before initiating any environmental work.

Contact NJDOH:

Phone: 609-826-4950
Fax: 609-826-4981

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Last Reviewed: 11/23/2016