Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.1 Overall Requirements

5.1.1 General Location, Layout and Construction of the Facility Use of Basements and Below Grade Areas

Finished basements or areas that are partially below grade may be used for children who independently ambulate and who are two years of age or older, if the space is in compliance with applicable building and fire codes. Environmental health factors may be reviewed with county or city public health departments.

Basement and partially below grade areas can be quite habitable and should be usable as long as building, fire safety (1), and environmental quality is satisfactory.
To “independently ambulate” means that children are able to walk from place to place with or without the use of assistive devices.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Buildings of Wood Frame Construction Space Required per Child Floor Space Beneath Low Ceiling Heights Alternate Exits and Emergency Shelter Evacuation of Children with Special Health Care Needs and Children with Disabilities Ensuring Access to Fresh Air Indoors Levels of Illumination Radon Concentrations Carbon Monoxide Detectors Preventing Exposure to Asbestos or Other Friable Materials
  1. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 2009. NFPA 101: Life Safety Code. 2009 ed. Quincy, MA: NFPA.