The existing inspection process can be used to identify ECE programs with potential problems. While on regularly scheduled inspections, ECE program inspectors could

  • Look for clues that the ECE program might be located on land or in a building that could be contaminated from a prior use.
  • Look for facilities or businesses using hazardous chemicals that are operating next to an ECE program.
  • Catch potential problems before the ECE program is operational if the state requires an inspection before an ECE program opens (most states require this).


Using an existing inspection process makes this approach possible to implement with little to no additional resources.

  • Inspectors can adapt the existing inspection process.
  • Siting criteria can readily be amended to existing inspection process.
  • Hiring new inspectors is not required.
  • Trained inspectors can educate current inspectors with new siting criteria.


A potential drawback to this approach is that the ECE safe siting program would not necessarily have control over when and how frequently inspections occur.

If your state has an inspection process for specific types of facilities using hazardous chemicals, 12 inspectors (while on their regularly scheduled inspections) could be trained to look for nearby ECE programs that could be at risk. This option could be implemented with few or no additional resources. However, a major drawback is that for many businesses of potential concern, states probably do not have existing inspection procedures.

An alternative to using the state’s existing ECE program inspection process is to create a new inspection process focused specifically on ECE program siting issues. ECE program siting inspectors could inspect new programs before their opening. They also could periodically inspect existing ECE programs to identify potential problems with the land, ECE building, or nearby facilities. This alternative would be much more resource intensive to implement than using an existing inspection process. However, one advantage is that the ECE siting program would have full control over when and how frequently inspections occur.

12For example, in some states, local health departments regularly inspect nail salons and hair salons.

How can ECE operators/directors improve ECE siting?

  • Ask your state/local public health agency whether there are any environmental conditions at your property that could pose a risk to children.
  • If you have a well for drinking water, consult your local or state health departments for what contaminants to test.
  • Observe land uses and businesses next to your ECE program and ask your state/local public health agency whether the nearby land uses could create exposures of concern at your facility.
  • Learn what your land and buildings were used for in the past. Ask whether any of the past uses could have caused environmental problems.
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Page last reviewed: October 30, 2018