We get this question often from child care center owners looking to move into a new space or expand an existing center. The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) has requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 8-50 in addition to their Indoor Environments Program website.
Generally, if a building was constructed prior to 1979, or the property was formerly used as a gas station, nail salon, funeral parlor, dry cleaner, or other hazardous use group, compliance is necessary. Additionally, if adjacent or proximate businesses may be impacting the proposed center, air sampling may be necessary.
Given the 2-3 months needed to perform an Indoor Environmental Health Assessment, which includes NJDOH review time, it is important to budget this in the project and construction schedule. It is also necessary to budget the $1,500 NJDOH initial fee and any consulting / testing costs.
By identifying any NJDOH requirements as early on in the process as possible, opening of the child care center may proceed in a more timely and cost-effective manner.