COVID-19 Update to Child Care Providers

Below, please find updated guidance for child care providers on:

  • Child Care Closure
  • Notification of Closure
  • Child Care for First Responders / Medical Personnel
  • Capacity Waivers

Child Care Closure Guidance

On Saturday, March 14th, communication from the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) with Guidance for School and Child Care Closure was sent to all licensed child care providers and Early Childhood Councils. This guidance is from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

As of Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m., CDPHE continues to recommend that child care providers remain open unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or child. Please refer to the CDPHE Guidance for School and Child Care Closure page for ongoing updates.

We understand this guidance may be confusing, particularly with many K-12 schools closing. Early care and learning settings are generally smaller in size than school districts and college campuses. These large settings present higher risk for widespread transmission than smaller child care facilities. Additionally, offering child care supports families who must work, particularly to those who perform essential functions in emergency situations, and serves as a consistent source of meals and safe supervision for children. It is for these reasons that CDPHE and the OEC continue to recommend child care facilities remain open unless they meet the criteria set by CDPHE.

It is important that child care providers adhere to standard precautions and cleaning practices like those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

We respect that families may exercise their right to keep children at home and that low enrollment may negatively impact child care providers, particularly those who accept families with subsidy. The OEC is working with counties to promote policies that help support those providers through CCCAP during this difficult time.

Notification of Closure

If you make a decision to close your facility, you must notify the Child Care Licensing Unit by filling out this form. You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Email Address
  • Name
  • License number
  • Are you planning on closing in the next two weeks?
  • If so, when are you closing?
  • Was the decision to close required by local public health (or CDPHE policy) or was it voluntary?
  • If voluntary, what prompted your decision (i.e. staff absences, low attendance, social distancing, etc.)?
  • Would you be willing to reopen to care for families of first responders and medical personnel if needed?
  • If you are closing, do you have teachers who would be willing to help provide child care at a different center?

Child Care for First Responders / Medical Personnel
If your child care facility remains open and has space available or is experiencing low attendance, you may be able to assist in providing care for the families of first responders and medical personnel. Please fill out this form to help us determine how to assist these families, if the need arises.

Capacity Waivers
As of Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m., there are no plans to offer emergency capacity waivers. Current guidance from CDPHE is to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Condensing the number of children in child care facilities would go against this strategy. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation.

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