Licensing Agency or Facility Locator
|There is no state licensing of schools or educational
facilities in Florida. There may be local county government fees
assessed or permits issued through the
local county health department in relation to physical plant,
environmental health or sanitary standards. The Department of Education
operates the public school system and oversees charter schools in
Florida through local county school boards. Any school facility
is required to get a satisfactory group care environmental health
inspection from the local county health department prior to opening
or operating in Florida.
Section 381.006 (16) (10K PDF), of the Florida Statutes (FS),
provide authority for Department of Health inspections. Private
or non-public schools are also required to register with the DOE,
To locate a public or non-public/private school in your county, please
go to the school facility locator websites.
In The News (pdfs open in new window)
The Department of Health currently has Chapter 64E-13, FAC, open for revision.
Notice of Rule Development (pdf <1mb) can be found in the February 19,
2010, publication of the Florida Administrative Weekly (FAW). A copy of the
draft rule (pdf <1mb) language can be viewed at the following PDF link.
Recently there has been much media attention related to Methicillin-Resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in school facilities. For more information
related to MRSA, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
MRSA in school facilities.
Planning On Opening A School?
Prior to opening or operating a school, you first need to contact the
local county health department. In addition to the group care and food
hygiene requirements, you must first get approval or sign off in the following
areas before an environmental health inspection will be conducted:
- The building must be inspected and approved by the local fire authority
as a school or educational facility.
- Local county or city zoning must provide written zoning approval
for the school location.
- The local county or city electrical, plumbing, and building department
must provide a signed inspection approval or written approval that the
school facility meets all local educational standards for the aforementioned
Once the appropriate paperwork is provided to the local county health
department, the DOH can begin to process your request and open your school.
In addition, any food service, including snacks or catered food, must be
approved by the local county health department.
One of the most challenging aspects for new school facilities is meeting
the existing restroom requirements for the students and staff. Chapter
64E-13, FAC (26K PDF), requires separate restroom facilities for faculty/staff
from the students restrooms. For grades fourth (4th) and up, separate restrooms
for each sex (boys and girls) are required. Please keep these standards
in mind when selecting a location for your proposed school facility.
What to do, if you have a complaint about a school.
If you have a complaint about the food or an environmental condition at
a school, you can contact your
local county health department. For improved investigational purposes,
please have the details surrounding the complaint, date(s) of the incident
or observation, location/room within the facility it occurred or was observed,
address of the facility, and any other pertinent information related to
If your complaint is about treatment, conduct, accident
reporting, behavior, staff ratios or any non-food or environmental issue:
Public School- contact their local school board or the
DOE state Office at
Private Schools- contact the school directly, any religious
accrediting agency, or the
Office of Independent or Parental Choice at DOE.
Colleges/Universities- contact the college or university's
What does an Environmental Health physical plant/group care inspection
various group care facilities such as schools, we ensure good sanitary health
and safety practices are in place related to construction, operation, and
maintenance among the children, employees, and visitors to the school facility.
Our purpose is to prevent or minimize the risk of transmitting disease,
injury, or bodily harm. The list below includes some of the primary areas
the environmental health inspectors check during their inspection visit
of the educational buildings. The DOH does not inspect dormitories.
There are many things to look for both inside and outside the facility and
on the playground. Here are some of the things that an environmental health
inspection might find that does not meet the code. These are pictures of
pinch hazards, injury hazards, and lack of maintenance to prevent vector
or vermin infestations outside on the play ground or surrounding property
the schools are located on.
- Maintenance & Repair
- Vermin/Animal Control
- Water Supply
- Liquid & Solid Waste
- Heating and Air-conditioning
- Sanitary Facilities/Restrooms & Showers
- Hand washing Facilities & Supplies
- Playground Equipment
Also, wood structures and play equipment can deteriorate over time and
through exposure to Florida's elements. Here is a picture of a leaning
fence on a playground that needs maintenance. In addition, climbing equipment
can become splintery and need sanding or replacement to prevent injury during
Physical Plant Inspections?
Yes - DOH Rules -
64E-13 F.A.C. (26K PDF)
There are no exemptions to inspections for private or religiously based
educational facilities. The following facilities receive a physical plant inspection:
- Public Schools
- Charter Schools
- Private or Non-public Schools
- Vocational/GED Schools
Good management practices for facility pest control and head lice.
Information can be found at the University of Florida's web site
Integrated Pest Management.
When food is served or catered at a school, the following applies:
Snacks Only Food Permit:
- Snacks are defined in
64E-11, F.A.C.(164K PDF) as, a commercially pre-packaged non-potentially
hazardous ready-to-eat-food item that is wrapped for individual consumption.
- A state DOH food permit is needed when a facility only serves snacks,
even if they are catered in by a third party provider.
64E-11, F.A.C.(164K PDF) exempts centers serving snack food only
from the state permit fee. However, local county fees may apply.
- Prior to opening or operating, a set of plans drawn to scale and
a completed food hygiene permit (to serve snacks only) application must
be submitted to the local county health department for a food hygiene
plan review. For non-public schools there is a fee associated with
the required plan review. To apply for a food hygiene permit for snack
food service, please go to the
food hygiene website or contact your
local county health department's environmental health section.
- DOH Rules:
64E-11, F.A.C.(164K PDF)
- Inspection Frequency:
- Twice per year.
Meals or Meals & Snacks
- If a school serves meals, has catered meals, or serves meals and
snacks, a permit, plan review, and inspection are conducted. Prior
to opening or operating, a set of plans drawn to scale and a completed
food hygiene permit application must be submitted to the local county
health department for a food hygiene plan review. For non-public
schools there is a fee associated with the required plan review.
To apply for a food hygiene permit, please go to the
food hygiene website or contact your
local county health
department's environmental health section.
- DOH Rules:
64E-11, F.A.C. (164K PDF)
- Inspection Frequency:
- Once per quarter (four times per year)
- Form Used:
DH 4023 (649K PDF)
|There are no emergency variance requets at this time.