Child Care Licensing and Administration

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Link to CDEC Provider Hub
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Apply for a Child Care License

Apply for a Child Care License
 
The Division of Early Learning and Licensing and Administration (DELLA) licenses family child care homes and non-home child care facilities. The Division of Early Learning and Licensing and Administration (DELLA) licenses over 5,000 child care facilities in Colorado that provide less than 24-hour care.
 
Each type of child care facility has its own licensing rules, procedures, and fee-structure for becoming licensed.
 
Apply for a Family Child Care Home License: To begin the application process, please create a username and password in the Provider Hub where you will be able to submit an online application and fee.
 
A mailed-in paper version of the application will still be accepted, however, providers are encouraged to use the Provider Hub for faster processing times. Only a check or money order will be accepted with the mailed-in form. All credit card and e-check payments must be submitted through the Provider Hub. Home providers will need to print and have everyone in the household 18 years of age or older complete and sign a Person In Home Authorization. This form is not submitted to the Department of Early Childhood, rather it should be kept on file at the family childcare home and be available for the licensing specialist to review.
 
Family Child Care Home Application Submission Guide
 
For more information about licensing requirements and detailed instructions on how to submit an original family child care home application, register for a FREE 1-hour orientation hosted by the Department of Early Childhood.
 
Below are the upcoming orientation dates. Click on the date you would like to attend to register. If you have further questions please contact the Licensing Training email at cdec_licensingtraining@state.co.us.

Apply for a Non-Home Child Care License: Non-home child care facilities include child care centers, school-age child care centers, preschools, resident camps, and neighborhood youth organizations.
 
To begin the application process, please create a username and password in the Provider Hub where you will be able to submit an online application and fee.
 
A mailed-in paper version of the application will still be accepted, however, providers are encouraged to use the Provider Hub for faster processing times. Only a check or money order will be accepted with the mailed-in form. All credit card and e-check payments must be submitted through the Provider Hub.
 
NON-Home Child Care License Application Submission Guide
 
Apply for a Substitute Placement Agency License: Substitute placement agencies facilitate or arrange placement of emergency, short-term or long-term substitute child care providers in licensed child care facilities providing less than twenty-four-hour care. 
 
Submit your original child care license application at least 60-90 calendar days prior to the date you plan to start providing care. Because a licensing inspection and background checks are required prior to opening for business, the entire licensing process can take up to 90 days, so please plan accordingly. Applications are processed in the order they are received.
 
Do NOT submit an original application if you want to make changes to your licensed space (e.g., add a basement/add or remove a room used for child care, etc.), change your name, or add/remove residents living in the family child care home. For those changes, please visit the Make Changes to a Child Care License section of the Department of Early Childhood website or call the Department of Early Childhood at 1.800.799.5876.

Application Fees 

A NONREFUNDABLE application fee is required when you submit your application. 

  • Fees vary by facility/license type and capacity. Please review the Child Care Licensing Fees to determine the correct fee. Submitting the incorrect fee will delay the processing of your application. When submitting payments by paper check, please include the confirmation number/application number in the memo line on the check in order to avoid delays in processing.
  • All credit card and e-check payments must be submitted through the Provider Hub. A mailed-in paper version of the application will still be accepted, however, providers are encouraged to use the Provider Hub for faster processing times. Only a check or money order will be accepted with the mailed-in form

Background Check Requirements 

There are two separate background check processes that must be completed in order to become licensed to provide child care in Colorado OR to work as an employee or volunteer of a child care facility: criminal background check and child abuse and neglect background check. Please see the Background Check Submission Guide (coming soon!) for more information about the background check process.

Colorado Shines 

Colorado Shines is the quality rating and improvement system for all of Colorado’s licensed early care and learning programs serving children ages 0-5. All licensed early care and learning programs serving children ages 0-5 in Colorado enter the Colorado Shines rating system as a Level 1 program. Explore the Program Resources and FAQ pages for more information about the rating process. Information about the Colorado Universal Preschool Program quality system is forthcoming. 

Choose Safe Places 

Choose Safe Places is a voluntary program for early care and preschool education providers to identify and address potential environmental concerns at or around child care facilities to protect children and staff from harmful substances in their environment.

Make Changes to a Child Care License

All change requests can be completed through the Provider Hub. This form cannot be used to change license types or physical location addresses. An original application is required for these changes.

A mailed-in paper version of the Change Request form will still be accepted. However, providers are encouraged to use the Provider Hub for faster processing times. Only a check or money order will be accepted with the mailed-in form. All credit card and e-check payments must be submitted through the Provider Hub.

For Family Child Care Homes Only:  If you need to add a household member to your family child care home, please complete and submit the Change Request form.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at 1-800-799-5876 or cdec_eclchildcarelicensing@state.co.us.

Continue a Child Care License

The Division of Early Learning and Licensing and Administration (DELLA) will have your child care facility's continuation form available to you on the Provider Hub 90 days prior to your license anniversary date. The continuation notices will also be emailed to both the primary email and director email addresses listed on the account on the 1st of each month, 3 months prior to your license anniversary date. You can pay the continuation fee with a credit card or e-check on the Provider Hub through a third-party vendor or you can mail a check or money order to our office with your signed paper continuation form. Credit card payments cannot be received over the phone or via mail.

School District Monitoring

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) worked collaboratively with school district representatives to simplify the licensing process and identify areas where onsite monitoring by CDHS, and now CDEC, licensing staff could be expedited.

As a result, school districts have the opportunity to submit district-wide documentation to CDEC regarding compliance with specific health and safety requirements in order to streamline the individual site inspection process conducted by licensing. School districts may apply by submitting the documentation outlined in the attached form, verifying that the school district maintains standards for the operation of the facility in compliance with the standards required by CDHS licensing rules, to the appropriate CDHS licensing supervisor. View the School District Monitoring Submission Guide

View the list of Licensing Supervisors and the Metro Area School District Licensing Contacts that includes contact information and the geographic area they supervise. CDEC licensing supervisors will review the documentation you provide. Once reviewed and accepted as evidence of compliance with the specific health and safety standards outlined, they will update the CDEC licensing tracking system showing approval. This approval will remain in place as long as the school district continues to supply the required documentation annually. View the School District and Licensing Monitoring Document.

Questions? Contact the Division of Early Learning Licensing and Administration (DELLA):

Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) 
Division of Early Learning Licensing and Administration (DELLA)

1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203
cdec_eclchildcarelicensing@state.co.us
Phone: 1-800-799-5876 or 303-866-5948
Fax: 303-866-4453
 
Contact your Licensing Specialist for information regarding your facility or technical assistance.

View the Division of Early Learning Licensing and Administration (DELLA) caseload assignment list.
 
Sign up to receive child care licensing and administration notifications.