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Program Description

The Northern Nevada Public Health partners with Washoe County Human Services Agency to inspect all child care facilities under the Child Care Licensing Regulations.  We work with the operators to ensure a healthy and environmentally safe facility for our communities’ children.

Facilities are inspected annually for cleaning and sanitization procedures, environmental hazards, employee health and hygiene, communicable disease knowledge and exclusion policies. To see the  Field Guide we use to inspect facilities, click here.

Childcare Kitchens

Child cares may be required to maintain a kitchen permit, depending on the type of food activities conducted. Child care facilities must maintain compliance with the Washoe County Regulations Governing Food Establishments

Click here to see what type of food activities are allowed with and without a permit. If needed, a Food Permit application can be submitted to Northern Nevada Public Health Offices.

If a child care conducts cooking activities with the children, a written food safety plan is required.

If a child care facility has a garden that they harvest from for use in the child care, they must contact the Nevada Department of Agriculture to obtain a grower’s certificate.

Outbreak Resources

An outbreak is defined as an unusual increase in illness. Child care facilities are required to track ill individuals in order to determine when they have an increase in illness.

Any suspected outbreak must be reported IMMEDIATELY to Northern Nevada Public Health at 775-328-2447 AND to Washoe County Social Services at 775-337-4470.

                -Communicable Disease Chart

                -Communicable Disease Reporting

                -Gastrointestinal Illness (GI) Guidelines: English, Spanish

                -Respiratory Illness Guidelines: English, Spanish

                -Rash (Hand Foot and Mouth Disease) Guidelines: English, Spanish

Handwashing Resources

Handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease. Hand sanitizer is never allowed as a substitute for handwashing. Facilities may find additional resources here.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Resources

Child care facilities are required to follow the Washoe County Social Services Regulations for cleaning and sanitizing all items in the facility. The Northern Nevada Public Health recommends the use of bleach for sanitizing in child cares.

                -Summary chart of cleaning and sanitizing items in a child care (addendum 11)

                -Bleach Mixing Cheat Bleach mixing chart of cleaning and sanitizing items in a child care            

All child cares with kitchen permits are required to have test strips to monitor sanitizer concentration or final rinse temperatures of heat dish machines. These test strips are available online or through local retailers or chemicals supply companies. Sanitizer concentration for the kitchen is different than the child care and must meet the food regulations (50-100ppm chlorine or 200-400ppm quaternary ammonia).


We recognize that many child care facilities are going through the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) audit program. We have provided the following references regarding the QRIS standards and the applicable Health District Regulations.

                -Infant / Toddler Environmental Rating Scale

                -Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale

Useful Links

Contact the Program

If you suspect abuse or neglect please call the Washoe County Human Services Agency immediately at 1-833-900-7233 (SAFE).

To file an environmental health and safety complaint online, click here for Instructions to Submit a Complaint


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Last modified on 08/15/2023