Licensing Tips for Child Care Providers

Licensing Tips For Child Care Providers

Call the Licensor On Duty (LOD) With Questions

Any child care providers should be aware that there are official resources you can contact for information about licensing. Any specific questions you might have should go to the relevant licensee for your state. In Colorado, you can contact the Colorado Office of Early Childhood.

The number for the Child Care Licensing and Administration Unit is 1-800-799-5876, or 303-866-5948.

They can also be reached by email at

Reaching out directly to government officials is usually the fastest way to get the information you need. However, the internet also has a variety of information you can utilize to answer questions quickly. Below we'll list some answers to common questions people have about licensing.

Remember that if you have an emergency or urgent question regarding the safety of your facility or another important matter, then calling these offices should not be your first course of action. It is always recommended you call the police or another authority with power that is local to you and can physically assist you quickly.

Information On License Renewal Applications

Do I need a license to operate my child care facility?

Usually, the answer to this question is yes. Most child care providers and facilities need to be stringently checked, and will most definitely need a license. This almost universally applies to any facilities that incorporate education or learning into their childcare, including religious-focused facilities that combine learning with religious instruction.

However, there are some types of facilities that are exempt from licenses. These include special classes for religious instruction, special classes or schools with a single skill-building purpose, and family care homes where less than 24 hours of care is provided. To learn the specifics, visit here.

How Does One Renew Their License To Be A Child Care Provider?

To renew your license in Colorado, you need to submit a license renewal application, which can be done either online or via a paper form. If you're unsure about how to obtain a form or have questions about whether you're exempt from submitting a license renewal application, then directly contact the Child Care Licensing and Administration Unit.

How Often Do Licenses Need To Be Renewed?

Licenses need to be renewed via license renewal applications, which should be submitted prior to the expiration date listed on your license. Typically, providers are sent reminders 60 and 15 days before their license expiration date. If you've received one of these notices, you need to submit a license renewal application as soon as possible.

Common Licensing Violations Revealed

Do you want to avoid the same pitfalls that other child care providers have fallen into? If so, stay up to date to which providers have trouble renewing their licenses or obtaining permissions from government organizations.

Information On Partner Staff

The term "partner staff" seems to be confusing to many child care providers, so we wanted to clear up regulations and rules regarding facilities and providers that use partner staff. Basically, partner staff is usually temporary or part-time staff members who aren't entitled to the same privileges as full-time or regular staff members are. There is more red tape surrounding partner staff because they usually aren't subjected to the same background checks, clearances, or fingerprinting procedures that full-time staff members are. The rules below come from Vermont's Child Development Division. More information on licensing tips and child care is provided within that link.

  • If a staff member at any child care facility or provider is employed by another entity, then they are partner staff, and partner staff regulations apply to them.
  • Partner staff are required to complete a background check and clearance process if they are going to be a part of your program more than five times a year.
  • Partner staff may not count in ratio and may not be left alone with children.
  • If partner staff need to work alone with children, written parental permission is required. With permission, partner staff may sign out the children and work with them alone.

Water Testing

Be aware that programs that use public water or permitted water systems are required to conduct lead tests in order to obtain valid licenses. if you're not sure whether you need to complete water tests, or are unsure of what kind of water your program uses, feel free to contact the Colorado Office of Early Childhood. The staff there will work with you to learn water tests and other tests you may need to complete for licensing purposes.

Background Clearances

Partner staff aren't the only staff members who need to undergo background clearance. All permanent staff members need to have their backgrounds checked before being considered full or part-time employees.

Make sure your organization follows definitions and licensing rules when determining which positions are appropriate to be identified on the Record Check Authorization Form. Staff use this info to determine whether fingerprinting is required. If it's found that fingerprinting will be required, then staff members at the Colorado Office of Early Childhood will implement it into your program and provide you with all required documentation. Staff will also guide you through the fingerprinting process until completion in order to ensure all protocols are followed and things go smoothly.

Child Care Management Services

It's no secret that managing a child care provider can be a difficult job, which is why child care management services like Early Learning Ventures exist. By streamlining administrative processes and identifying time-wasters and inefficient elements of your facility, these management services can save time, money, and a whole lot of headaches. To learn more about child care management services, visit their website.

Are you looking for more child care management information? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Child Care Management.

Our child care management system makes running your child care program simple and efficient. Get back to what's most important. You shouldn't have to spend more time on the administrative tasks than you do with children and staff. 

Get the latest and greatest child care news and information today! Sign up for our newsletter...

Or schedule a demo with us to learn more about how our child care management system, Alliance Core, can streamline your administrative processes.

Do you run an early childhood association made up of child care providers? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide to Shared Service Alliance.

Header image courtesy of Stockunlimited.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top