COVID-19 Resources and FAQ's
General and Operational FAQ's
When will in-person, onsite licensing inspections and rating assessments resume?
Effective July 1, 2021, Child Care Licensing Specialists began completing onsite, in-person inspections and investigations for all license types. The decision to resume onsite, in-person inspections of child care facilities was made in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) after reviewing current COVID-19 data and the lift in state restrictions.
Licensing Specialists will continue to follow safety protocols such as wearing a mask at all times in a facility, washing their hands immediately upon arrival to the building, after touching any materials, and prior to entering the infant classroom. When possible Licensing Specialists will maintain a 6-foot physical distance from all facility staff, children, and families, and allow the facility to check their temperature if requested.
Colorado Shines rating evaluations are expected to resume in January 2022.
What cleaning procedures should child care providers follow to help limit the spread of COVID-19?
Facilities should follow cleaning procedures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This resource remains the best source of information to ensure the safety of children and staff.
Applicable facilities should follow the sanitizing and disinfecting requirements in the Rules and Regulations Governing the Health and Sanitation in Child Care Facilities in the State of Colorado.
Should children and providers wear masks in child care facilities?
Children and providers must wear masks if it is required by a public health order in the county where the facility is located.
As of July 27, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal masking for all teachers, staff and students regardless of vaccination status in schools.
CDPHE recommends local public health agencies and school districts consider either mask requirements for all unvaccinated individuals or all individuals in schools, particularly in higher-risk environments. Read more about masking in schools and child care facilities here.
CDPHE also recommends visiting the Center for Disease Control webpage, COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs.
Is food assistance available?
Yes. Providers can access food assistance through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). More information is available here.
If you are a Family Child Care Home, please view the CACFP Cost Help for Family Child Care Homes flyer.
For a list of CACFP sponsors in your area (you will need to contact a sponsor to apply) click HERE.
Can mothers nurse in child care program buildings?
Nursing mothers should be accommodated as much as possible. A quiet space away from other children that also can provide social distancing should be provided. CDC guidance to promote and support breastfeeding is available here.
Where can I find updates on COVID-19 and learn more about how to respond to the virus?
Child care and early education program operators should refer to CDPHE’s “Practical Guide for Operationalizing CDC’s School Guidance” and CDC’s page “COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs” for context-specific guidance about COVID-19 risk mitigation and disease response. These facilities may also be subject to state or local orders or mandates and should be sure to comply with any relevant regulations.
All known or suspected outbreaks of COVID-19 must be reported to the appropriate local public health agency within 4 hours.
If a provider chooses to stay open and children and/or families become ill are they legally liable?
Because child care programs have different liability coverage, providers are encouraged to talk with their insurance carriers to determine what their specific policy covers.
Certification, Training and Consultation FAQ's
Where can I apply for a Child Development Associate (CDA) Observation Waiver?
The Council for Professional Recognition is currently not allowing virtual observations for the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification to occur and Colorado Public Health Guidance is not permitting in-person observations. To accommodate this concern for early childhood professionals seeking their CDA certification, Colorado Child Care Licensing will be providing a Provisional-Early Childhood Teacher (P-ECT) letter for candidates that have completed their 120 hours of CDA training, 480 hours of work experience and proof of exam. This letter will be valid for 6 months or until the professional completes their full CDA. Click here to apply for a CDA Observation Waiver.
Where can I apply for a Provisional CDA- ECT waiver?
Facilities that hold a Colorado Shines Level 3-5 rating can receive a waiver to allow for a Provisional Early Childhood Teacher (P-ECT) to act as an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) while working on obtaining a nationally recognized CDA credential and becoming fully ECT qualified for a period of up to 12 months. Click here for the full list of eligibility requirements and application forms.
What do I do if my CPR/First Aid training or certifications is due to expire?CPR/First Aid classes have now resumed with small in-person training. Here is a link to the approved CPR/First Aid vendor list, on our website to assist with finding a trainer. Find a trainer.
Fingerprinting with Colorado Fingerprinting and IDEMIA is still continuing at this time. They are monitoring staffing needs daily and are adjusting as necessary. Due to the temporary suspension of fingerprinting at some locations, at this time it is best for individuals needing fingerprinting to reach out directly to the specific fingerprinting agency for the most up-to-date information.
Is the Office of Early Childhood still conducting fingerprinting and background checks?
Colorado Fingerprinting (833) 224-2227 OR (720) 292-2722 or IDEMIA (855) 845-7434
Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) FAQ's
What are individual county policies regarding CCCAP?
View this link to learn more about policies in each county.
Are counties able to continue to pay CCCAP providers who decided to close?
Counties may continue to support CCCAP providers that have had to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak through monthly absence payments.
Per the Licensed Provider Fiscal Agreement Amendment effective 9/1/2021, other than for allowable county-designated paid holidays or county-designated absence payments if authorized by the Department in response to a declared emergency, providers may not receive payment for days in which they were not open or available for child care.
If a provider wants to work with the county to temporarily change its policy to accommodate the needs of providers and families in their community, what should they do?
Providers should contact the local county office to discuss the options available.
Are counties allowed to cover the cost of child care through CCCAP for school-age children in grades 1 through 12?
Per federal guidance, counties may authorize and pay for the care of school-age children while they are completing remote schoolwork as a part of the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). Child care providers may supplement or build on academic programming as long as it does not take the place of remote school instruction being provided through a public or private school. Counties may not pay for any educational services, including when a child care provider is acting as a teacher or conducting direct instruction that would result in academic credit. Read the full memo here.
Are counties able to provide incentives to providers using CCQI money? If so, how would they access those funds?
Incentive payments for providers are not allowed but a county can choose to transfer county TANF reserves to child care quality to provide support to providers for supplies or other necessary needs. This would be done through a Quality Request Form.
Early Childhood Council FAQ's
How will the state and OEC ensure they communicate Colorado Shines updates to councils that support local programs?The Office of Early Childhood will continue to send regular communications and updates via the Weekly ECC and CCR&R newsletter and additional notices as needed. In addition, the QRIS team will be implementing regular check-in calls with councils. Please reach out to your QRIS Coordinator for more information.
Where should I direct families who are in need of child care?
Early Childhood Councils should encourage families that have child care needs to contact Colorado Shines Child Care Referral using any of the following methods:
- Colorado Shines
- Toll-free number 1-877-338-CARE (2273)
- Email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Text "child care referrals" to 898-211
- Complete the child care online intake form (https://unitedwaydenver.org/child-care-request/)
- Or chat with a navigator at https://unitedwaydenver.org/childcarereferrals/
Hiring Resources and Job Opportunities for Providers and Professionals
Healthy Child Care Colorado has an existing job board that they have generously offered as the platform for connecting providers with temporarily available early childhood professionals.
Instructions for Child Care Providers
Child care providers who need temporary staff to stay open during this crisis may create a free Healthy Child Care Colorado account and post their job listings on the job board, under the category “Temporary – COVID-19.” Once their posting is reviewed, the position will be listed on the job board within 24 hours. Providers should include the following language as part of their job posting:
Only applicants with a verification letter from the Office of Early Childhood, Colorado Department of Human Services may apply for this temporary position. Applicants will be required to submit their verification letter as part of the application process.
Update | August 27, 2021 |
Child care and early education programs must follow any local public health orders that apply to the county where they are located. Refer to CDPHE's "Practical Guide for Operationalizing the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) School Guidance" and the CDC webpage, “COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs” for context-specific guidance about COVID-19 risk mitigation and disease response. Facilities should also comply with any relevant regulations and cooperate with public health on disease mitigation strategies.