Office of the
State Fire Marshal

New Day-Care Plan Reviews and Inspections

The Delaware State Fire Prevention Regulations define a day-care as an occupancy in which four or more clients receive care, maintenance, and supervision, by other than their relatives or legal guardians, for less than 24 hours per day.

Day-Care Occupancies Application

Day-Care occupancies include the following:

  • Adult day-care occupancies, except where part of a health care occupancy
  • Child day-care occupancies
  • Day-care homes
  • Kindergarten classes that are incidental to a child daycare occupancy
  • Nursery schools

In areas where public schools offer only half-day kindergarten programs, many child day-care occupancies offer state-approved kindergarten classes for children who need full-day care. Because these classes are normally incidental to the day-care occupancy, the requirements of the day-care occupancy should be followed.

Places of religious worship shall not be required to meet day-care requirements where operating a nursery while services are being held in the building.

Although the requirements of the Delaware State Fire Prevention Regulations are enforced statewide, plan review and inspection services for day-care occupancies located within the city limits of Wilmington, Newark, Dover, and New Castle are provided by the Jurisdictional Fire Marshals of those cities. If your proposed day-care is located within one of these cities, please contact the respective Jurisdictional Fire Marshal for further information.

All new day-care facilities will require a plan review submission, including a completed building application, drawings, and a fee paid by check or money order to “State of Delaware.” A plan review will be performed to ensure compliance with the current edition of the Delaware State Fire Prevention Regulations and an approval form with comments will be issued to you.

All new day-care facilities may also require a final inspection from our office prior to any occupancy. The inspection requirements will be included in your approved plan review comments form.

If you have any questions, please contact the Division Office for the county in which your project is located:

New Castle County: 302-323-5365       Kent County: 302-739-4394        Sussex County: 302-856-5298

Please click on the day-care classification you wish to open for more information on plan review and inspection requirements:

Family Day-Care Home (4 to 6 clients)

Group Day-Care Home (7 to 12 clients)

Day-Care Center (13 or more clients)