Lead Information For Child Care Providers
Lead in paint, soil, and water poses a danger to children and it may be found in your day care.
Lead Safe Child Care in Connecticut
Connecticut laws protect children from lead paint hazards in family child care homes, group child care homes and child care centers. The laws apply to all child care facilities built before 1978 due to lead paint hazards. Lead paint which was banned in the United States in 1978 continues to be the main cause of lead poisoning in children. Lead harms children's nervous systems and is associated with learning disabilities, reduced IQ, slow growth and behavioral problems. Lead paint that is chipping, flaking, peeling or cracking poses a hazard for children because lead paint chips and lead dust on the floor, window sill and window well may be swallowed by children crawling or playing in these areas. Also, children chewing on surfaces, such as window sills or door edges, that are covered with lead paint can cause harm.
For information on child care licensing click here.
For Family Child Care Homes (homes with less than 7 children including provider's children) built before 1978 a visual inspection for lead paint is conducted by the day care licensing specialist. If peeling and chipping paint is observed during the inspection, a sample will be taken and sent to the state lab to determine if lead is present in the paint. The inspection will include the outside areas as well as the interior of the home. If lead paint is found to present a hazard to children, it must be corrected (see below for details).
For all family child care homes, if the water is not from a public water system, the provider will need to have the water tested for lead by a lab certified by the state. All child care homes that use a private well will have to have a water test that includes testing for lead. Water tests are required every two years. For a list of certified labs, click here.
For Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers, a full comprehensive lead inspection is required for buildings constructed prior to 1978. When a comprehensive lead inspection is required, the Lead Inspection Report from the local health department/district (LHD) or a private CT DPH-licensed lead consultant must be submitted to the CT Office of Early childhood Licensing Division (OEC). If lead-based paint or lead hazards are not identified, no additional documents are required to be submitted. If lead-based paint or lead hazards are identified, the hazards must be corrected. See below for details.
Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers must also submit a copy of first draw water test for lead every 2 years for all water supplies regardless if the facility is on a public water supply or a private well to the OEC Licensing Division.
See resources below to find a licensed lead consultant.
In an effort to protect children, group child care homes and licensed child care centers located in buildings partially or completely constructed before 1978 must have a comprehensive lead inspection completed or on file with OEC, the LHD and CT Department of Public Health's Lead, Radon, and Health Homes Program. Please consult your Office of Early Childhood Licensing Specialist for more information.
A comprehensive lead inspection will include testing the child care facility for lead in paint, dust, exposed soil and water. You can call your LHD to see if they have the ability to do a comprehensive lead inspection. If they cannot, you will need to contact a licensed lead consultant. To find a licensed lead consultant, see resources below.
Steps to correct lead hazards will differ based on the type of license you have.
Child Care Center and Group Child Care operators will be required to remediate the identified lead hazards using an EPA-certified contractor trained in lead safe work practices. To find a certified contractor, see resources below.
Family Child Care Homes providers (homes owned or rented with NO CHILDREN UNDER 6 IN RESIDENCE) will be required to remediate lead hazards using an EPA-certified contractor trained in lead safe work practices. To find a certified contractor, see resources below.
- Family Child Care Homes providers (homes owned or rented WITH CHILDREN UNDER 6 IN RESIDENCE) will be required to abate the lead hazards identified during the lead inspection. Per the Connecticut Public Health Code, when lead hazards are identified in the home of a child under the age of 6 all hazards must be abated using a CT DPH-licensed lead abatement professional.
Click here for the full statute. If abatement is required, a Lead Abatement Plan (see resources below) must be developed and submitted to your Local Health Department or Local Health District for review and approval prior to starting abatement work. To find a DPH-licensed lead consultant, see resources below.
Contact a lead consultant or your Local Health Department for assistance and guidance.
Model Lead Hazard Remediation Plan for Child Day Care Facilities
If lead hazards are found in your child care center or group child care home during the lead inspection you will be required to remediate them using an EPA-certified contractor trained in lead safe work practices.
After the inspection is completed a Lead Hazard Remediation Plan is then required. Your DPH-licensed lead consultant can write a Lead Hazard Remediation Plan for you or you can develop one using the template Model Lead Hazard Remediation Plan (see resources below). Please reach out to your OEC Licensing Specialist or LHD staff for additional guidance and information.
Lead remediation work must be done using an EPA-certified contractor. The area where the lead remediation work is being done must be closed off to children. To find an EPA-certified contractor, see resources below.
Child care providers must maintain painted surfaces that they know or suspect may contain lead-based paint to protect children from exposure to lead. The most common sources of lead exposure are from chipping or peeling paint, lead dust, and lead in bare soil. See Preventing Lead Poisoning in Your Child Care Facility in resources below.
If you have intact surfaces or soil that has been identified as containing lead-based paint you are required to monitor those surfaces and the soil to ensure they do not pose a hazard to the children in your care. You can obtain a Lead Management Plan from your DPH-licensed lead consultant or you can use DPH's Model Lead Management Plan template (see resources below) to create a plan.
- Preventing Lead Poisoning in Your Day Care Facility
- Lead Paint Safety – A Field Guide
- Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting
- Lead in Drinking Water Factsheet
- Model Lead Hazard Remediation Plan for Child Care Facilities
- Model Lead Management Plan
- Model Lead Abatement Plan
- EPA-certified RRP lead contractors
- DPH Licensed Lead Consultants for lead inspections, clearance sampling and abatement plans.
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