Child Care Center
Opening a Child Care Center
Opening a child care center is an exciting career move which offers you the opportunity to provide appropriate care and guidance for other children in your community. The process takes time and planning is the key to success as you consider everything from policies and procedures to ordering supplies and setting up your child care environment.
What is child care licensing?
Child care licensing standards set the minimum acceptable health, safety, and program standards for the legal operation of child care programs. Licensed care, sometimes referred to as regulated care, is a baseline below which it is illegal to operate. It is not an indicator of quality care. More on quality programming can be found on our website. A few topics to consider are listed below as you begin your journey to open a child care center. For details on all of the topics, click here.
- Finding a Location for your Business
- Physical Space
- Fire Prevention & Safety
Here are other resources:
Zoning, Fire Department & Health Department
For property within the city limits, contact Colorado Springs: 719-385-5905
COLORADO SPRINGS ZONING WEBSITE (Please note that all child care zoning information is under the heading of Home Day Care Permits. For the pre-application information, look under Daycare Home Size Restrictions.)
For property outside the city limits, contact El Paso County: 719-520-6300
Teller County: 719.687.3048
Elbert County: 303.621.3135
Contact the local firehouse closest to the center location you are considering.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment establishes and enforces sanitary standards for child care facilities to protect the health of children and staff in these facilities. Inspections are required every two years but may be conducted more frequently based on an assessment of risk. In El Paso County, the local Department of Public Health inspects child care facilities.
- Rules and regulations governing health and sanitation in child care facilities (official Secretary of State version).
- Rules and regulations governing health and sanitation in child care facilities (reader-friendly).
- Summary of Changes.
Application Process for a Child Care Center
The Division of Early Care and Learning is developing administrative guides to accompany rules regulating child care facilities. The guide serves to clarify, and ensure the proper and consistent interpretation and implementation of, child care rules. The guide also provides the rationale behind rules and links to resources to help programs comply with the rules.
- Administrative Guide: General Rules Regulating Child Care Facilities 7.701
- Administrative Guide: Rules Regulating Child Care Centers 7.702
Available Guides (Spanish)
- Guía Administrativa: Reglamento General para Guarderías Infantiles 7.701
- Guía Administrativa: Reglas para las Guarderías Infantiles 7.702
The Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence (IREE) is responsible for providing licensing services in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Pueblo counties. IREE uses the “Community Based Licensing” model created by President and CEO Dr. Rosemarie Allen.
Community Based Licensing© focuses on providing licensing services that are culturally responsive using four Cs: Competence, Caring, and Compassion while ensuring Compliance.
Visit the IREE Website
In El Paso County, licensing questions may be directed to:
Deputy Director of Licensing
Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence (IREE)
Licensing Specialists are responsible for child care locations within designated ZIP codes. For list by ZIP code, click here.
Additional resources can be found on our Licensing Resources page under Providers, Leaders & Teachers.
Early Childhood Education Scholarships
Alliance for Kids is here to help students navigate the path toward advancing their education and professional development goals. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.
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