Opening a Family Child Care

Family Child Care

Providing Child Care as a Career

Becoming a Licensed Family Child Care Provider is an exciting career move which offers you the opportunity to be at home with your own children, and to provide appropriate care and guidance for other children in your community. Licensed Family Child Care Providers can earn income for their families while providing an invaluable service for the 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.

Are you Ready to Start a Child Care Business?

As you begin the journey of opening a Family Child Care Home, there are many things to consider and you may wish to seek legal advice before you decide to use your own home for child care, purchase property or sign a lease agreement. Three documents below provide things to consider:

The information on the tabs will assist you with the next steps in the process. At any point, you are welcome to call Geanina Brown for assistance.

Zoning Information

Contact Zoning: Call the Zoning office to assure that your residence is zoned to operate a Family Child Care Home. This step is crucial as Zoning supersedes Licensing.

For zoning within the city limits, call Colorado Springs: 719-385-5905

City Administration Building

30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 105

Colorado Springs, CO 80903


For zoning outside the city limits, call El Paso County: 719-520-6300


Teller County: 719.687.3048

Elbert County: 303.621.3135

Prior to applying for a Family Child Care Home License

Pre-Licensing Training is Required*

Alliance for Kids is here to support you every step of the way, and offers the following Pre-Licensing classes:

AFK offers a quarterly course for becoming a licensed provider. Cost is $150.

Next Five-Day Virtual Session (11:30 am – 3:00 pm): Register HERE for April 26 – 30th training.
To help you along your business journey, AFK offers FREE services!
  • Where to start and what is important to consider when exploring the possibility of opening a family child care home – call us first if your considering enrolling in the Pre-Licensing classes!
  • Assistance with zoning and HOA needs
  • Support with completing the licensing application
  • Technical assistance and on-site support for setting up your learning environment

Contact Geanina Brown, Quality Initiatives Coach Supervisor, at 719.651.3484 or GBrown@jointinitiatives.orgfor more information.

*Exemptions from 15 hours of Pre-Licensing Training

All persons with a State of Colorado Director Certification, two-year or four-year degree IN Early Childhood Education are exempt from the 15 hours of Pre-Licensing training but must have the following:

  • Providers must have Standard Precautions and Medication Administration, and current CPR/First Aid certification. (Visit our Calendar for upcoming training or see list of approved trainers.)
  • Providers are required to attend the licensing rules and regulations overview as well as the family child care business requirements training (see below).
Rules, Regulations & Business Rules for Family Child Care Homes
This course for exempt providers is offered on the first three days of each quarterly Pre-Licensing session from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm. Register for the April 26-30th course HERE.

All persons who completed the Pre-Licensing training at Fort Carson Youth and School Services, Family Child Care, within the last 12 months AND still holds a current certificate.

Application Process for a Family Child Care Home License

The licensing process takes approximately 90 days once an application packet is received by the Division of Early Care and Learning (DECL). The licensing process includes the following steps:

  1. Complete and sign the Family Child Care Home Application and all necessary attachments. Detailed instructions are included in the Licensing Application Packet. The licensing application and rules and regulations can also be downloaded from the State site:
  2. Complete and mail your application materials. The application form and the fees must be submitted together in the envelope provided with your application packet to the Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS.
    • Licensing Fee Schedule
    • For complete background check information, click here.
    • Due to changes implemented by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) will no longer offer non-criminal fingerprint services to the general public after October 20, 2018. Starting October 25, 2018, fingerprinting will no longer be processed through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). All fingerprinting will be processed through two vendors, IdentoGO and Colorado Fingerprinting.

      Update: The Colorado Springs IdentoGO location has closed as of August 2019. The closest El Paso County location is now in Calhan. There is also a location in Pueblo. For hours and directions, visit For instructions to help navigate the IdentoGO site, click here. For IdentoGO FAQs, click here.

    • Current health evaluations must be done for ALL those living in the home and must be signed by a licensed physician or licensed nurse practitioner. These forms are included in your licensing packet.  The health forms are NOT mailed into the state.

Mail to:

Application Processing
Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714

  • Once the licensing package is received and processed, a Licensing Specialist will contact the applicant to schedule an inspection of the home to verify compliance with licensing rules and regulations, and to determine if a license should be issued.
  • Make the necessary preparations
  • Start-up preparations will vary from one individual to another. Allow yourself plenty of time for planning, creating your policies and procedures, contracts, gathering supplies, and setting up your child care environment before your home visit is scheduled with the Colorado State Division of Child Care Licensing Specialist.


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:
Brenda Beadling
Deputy Director of Licensing
Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence (IREE)

For a list of Licensing Specialists assigned to different zip codes to inspect Family Child Care Homes, please click here.

Additional resources can be found on our Licensing Resources page.



Alliance for Kids is offering a scholarship for each upcoming session of the Pre-Licensing class required to become a licensed child care provider.

January Session: Deadline to apply is January 13, 2020


Early Childhood Education Scholarships

Alliance for Kids is here to help students navigate the path toward advancing their education and professional development goals. Scholarships are currently closed until May 2020. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.

For assistance with opening a Family Child Care or a Child Care Center, contact:

Geanina Brown
Early Childhood Workforce Manager

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