A Child Care Center is required to be licensed.
Applying for a Child Care Center License
The links below contain the information and forms you need to apply for a license to operate a Child Care Center. It is very important for you to complete all of the application requirements. Allow approximately ninety (90) days to become licensed after the Division of Early Care and Learning receives your completed application packet. Child care rules and finger print cards may be ordered from State Forms.
Your application packet will contain the following items:
3 fingerprint cards
A completed application package and licensing fee must be submitted to the Division of Child Care at least 90 days prior to the proposed opening date of the facility. After approval of the application package, a licensing specialist schedules an inspection of the facility, and determines whether or not a license should be issued.
Applicants, owners, and employees of licensed child care facilities must also submit fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for a Criminal Background Check, and their names must be checked against the Central Registry of Child Protection. Visit the Child Care Background Check page for more information.
Two Payments are Required
Check payable to the "Colorado Department of Human Services" to cover the licensing application fee.
Check payable to "CBI" to cover the CBI and FBI fees.
Portability of Background Checks
House Bill 11-1102 passed in the 2011 session of the Colorado Legislature, creates limited portability of criminal background checks in limited circumstances, which became effective on August 10, 2011.
Return the following items to the Division of Early Care and Learning
Completed and signed Original Application for a Child Care Center License Completed fingerprint cards
Completed and signed Background Investigation Unit Facility Inquiry Form and separate check or money order (if required)
Check or money order, payable to the Colorado Department of Human Services (for the Original Child Care Center Application fee, CBI fee and FBI fee)
Mail all items listed to
Division of Early Care and Learning, Colorado Department of Human Services
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714
After the Division of Early Care and Learning receives the items above and processes your application, a licensing specialist will contact you to set-up a time to inspect the center to verify that you have complied with all of the licensing rules and regulations.
Licensed Facility Resources
Questions? Contact Us
Call 303-866-5958 or 1-800-799-5876 to speak with a licensing specialist.
It is the policy of the Colorado Department of Human Services ("the State Department") to promote and encourage child care in environments that contribute to the safety, health, protection and well-being of children. To verify compliance with standards intended to ensure such an environment, the State Department requires thorough and ongoing appraisals of child care facilities, persons working in the child care profession, and the nature of care provided.