The One Year Vacancy Policy

If you’re considering opening a child care center in a space that previously completed the child care center environmental requirements, you generally don’t need to redo them unless the center has been vacant for more than one year. (Yes, re-occupancy happens more than you think).

The NJ Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) has a policy regarding such a situation: If the space has been vacant for more than one year, a new Response Action Outcome (RAO) or NJDEP Approval letter is required. For vacancies less than one year, the historic RAO or NJDEP Approval letter generally suffices. As always, you should check with your NJDCF inspector to determine site specific requirements.


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