At what point is a child care license required?


A family child care home is required to be licensed when care is provided to two or more unrelated children at any one time.


child care center is required to be licensed when 5 or more children are in care at any one time.


What changes require a new application and what changes require a letter?

Per rule: 7.701.35  Changes Requiring a New Application: 


A license is deemed surrendered and a new application is required in the following circumstances.


A.  Change of licensee, owner, or governing body.

B.  Change in classification of facility or service offered.

C.  Change in location of the facility.

D.  Change in the Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) of the facility or agency.


A Change Request letter and change fee is sufficient for any other change.


What types of child care facilities are exempt from licensing regulations?

A child care license is not required for:

  • A special school or class in which more than 75 percent of the time that children are present is spent in religious instruction. Religious instruction is defined to include such developmentally appropriate children’s activities as worship, singing religious songs, listening to religious stories, learning and practicing religious cultural activities, and participating in religious celebrations. Colorado law and state regulations do not exclude child care programs from licensing just because traditional religious values or philosophy are an integral part of the child care program. Religious institutions that operate child care programs are required to be licensed.

  • A special school or class operated for a single skill-building purpose.

  • A child care center operated in connection with a church, shopping center, or business where children are cared for during short periods of time, not to exceed three hours in any twenty-four hour period of time, while parents or persons in charge of such children, or employees of the church, shopping center, or business whose children are being cared for at such location are attending church services at such location, shopping, patronizing or working on the premises of the business. This facility must be operated on the premises of the church, business, or shopping center. Only children of parents or guardians who are attending a church activity or patronizing the business or shopping center or working at the church, shopping center or business can be cared for in the center.

  • Occasional care of children with or without compensation, which means the offering of child care infrequently and irregularly that has no apparent pattern.

  • A family care home in which less than 24-hour care is given for only one child or two or more children who are siblings from the same family household at any one time.

  • A child care facility that is approved, certified, or licensed by any other state department or agency, or by a federal government department or agency, which has standards for operation of the facility and inspects or monitors the facility.

  • The medical care of children in nursing homes.

  • Guest child care facilities – Public Services short-term child care facilities as defined at Sections 26-6-102(5) and 26-6-103.5, C.R.S.


How do you request an exemption from the requirement to be licensed as a child care facility?

Any organization or individual that is requesting to be declared exempt from the Child Care Licensing Act based on the subject matter of their program must submit a written request for exemption to the Colorado State Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care (1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor, Denver, CO 80203-1714). That request must include the name and address of the facility, the number of children in care, their ages, the hours and days of operation, a basic description of the program, the daily activity schedule of the program including times of different activities, the philosophy or mission statement of the program, a sample of the curriculum, the qualifications of the staff, and a copy of the promotional material used to advertise the program.


Decisions of the State Department regarding exemptions are the final agency decision of the Department and cannot be reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge. All final agency decisions are effective and binding three days after the date of the written notice of the approval or denial of the requested exemption even if the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. The organization or individual requesting the exemption has the right to apply for judicial review of the agency decision by the filing of an action in District Court pursuant to the provisions of Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4-106(4). Any such action must be filed in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure for courts of record in Colorado within 30 days after this decision has become effective.

Under what circumstances is a new licensing application required?

  • If there is a change of licensee, owner, or governing body.

  • If there is a change in the classification of facility or service offered.

  • If there is a change in location of facility.

  • If there is a change in the FEIN (Federal Employer's Identification Number) of the facility.  


How can I become licensed? 

Complete the order form, check off the type of facility you want to open (such as "family child care home") and send, along with your check for the designated amount, to:


State Forms Center

4999 Oakland Street 

Denver, CO 80239

Phone No: 303-370-2165


Review the rules, complete all required paperwork as outlined in the instructions, and forward your application packet and licensing fee and any supporting documents to:


Application Processing

The Division of Child CareColorado Department of Human Services

1575 Sherman St., 1st Floor

Denver, CO 80203-1714


What is the difference between an "Official Transcript", "Original Transcript", and "Unoffical Transcript"?

  • Official Transcript - Transcript issued from the college or university in a sealed envelope.

  • Original Transcript - Transcript that is on transcript paper and is not in a sealed envelope.

  • Unofficial Transcript - Transcripts that are photocopies, computer printouts, sent via fax, grade reports, etc. The Division does not accept "Unofficial Transcripts". 

Early Care & Learning >Child Care Licensing & Administration > FAQs for CC Licensing