Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

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

5.1 Overall Requirements

5.1.4 Exits Access to and Awareness of Exits

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 01/23/2020

Caregivers/teachers should be aware of all available exit routes within the early care and education program. Each room within an early care and education program should be provided direct access to at least one of the following1:

  1. An exit opening directly to the outside
  1. A corridor or hallway providing direct, unobstructed access to an exit to the outside

All doors and entrances that serve as an exit should be designed and constructed so that the exit route is obvious and direct. All doors should be of the side-hinged or pivoted-swinging type that open the required width during an exit. Early care and education programs within a basement or using basement space should consider exit paths using appropriate egress (exit) windows.1 Early care and education programs should plan for special accommodations in which adults, infants, and children may need additional assistance during an evacuation (eg, those who use wheelchairs, exit cribs).

Doors providing an exit into a corridor or hallway should not be latched, locked, barricaded, or otherwise obstructed to prevent staff and children from exiting.

Regardless of their location, for security purposes, staff should be aware of at least 2 ways to leave or evacuate a room or other area. This is especially important outside of the facility during visits to other facilities/buildings or while on a field trip.2


A room that requires exit through a corridor or hallways to get to an exit path can trap its occupants in the event of a fire or emergency. Doors and passages that are unlatched, unlocked, cleared, and easily accessible prevent obstruction of the exit path.1 An obstruction in the path of exit can lead to entrapment, especially in an emergency where groups of people may be exiting together.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Path of Egress (Exit) Labeled Emergency Exits Construction and Remodeling
  1. National Fire Protection Association. NFPA 101B: Code for Means of Egress for Buildings and Structures. Published 2002. Accessed August 21, 2019

  2. Active shooter. Accessed August 21, 2019


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 01/23/2020