Child care facilities

Last updated May 17, 2021.

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Open with restrictions

Child care facilities may operate under their Department of Human Services licensed capacity and group size. 

Child care facilities must follow all state and local mask orders.


  • The facility must notify and cooperate with their local public health agency on next steps.

  • Local public health agency contacts can be found here.

  • Outbreak guidance for child care centers and schools can be found here.


  • Prioritize care for children of essential workers, parents returning to work, and job seekers.

  • Keep groups of children together with the same staff when possible.

  • Conduct daily temperature checks and monitor symptoms in employees and students and any person entering the building. Refer symptomatic employees to the Colorado COVID Symptom Support tool. (Additional Guidance)

  • Require handwashing upon arrival and enable handwashing throughout the day.

  • Limit the number of child-staff and child-child interaction in common spaces as much as possible (e.g. playground equipment, hallways, etc.).

  • Encourage 6-foot distancing and, where possible, implement distancing systems while learning.

  • Stagger meal times and encourage individual meals (no family-style dining).

  • Disinfect all high-touch areas at the start and end of the day and, when possible, throughout the day. (Additional Guidance)

  • Limit the toys in use to those that are easily cleanable, non-porous, with smooth surfaces and eliminate soft, fabric toys, dress-up clothing, sensory tables and water play.

  • Establish a clear plan to isolate staff and children who have symptoms.

  • Determine a plan for substitute staff members to cover for ill or quarantined staff.


  • Require employees to wear masks (preferred medical grade if available, otherwise cloth) (Additional Guidance). Vaccinated employees may remove their masks if they have provided proof of fully completed vaccination to their employer.

  • Provide guidance and encouragement on maintaining 6-foot distancing.

  • Provide guidance and encouragement on frequent handwashing.

  • Provide training to all staff specific to all issues in the most recent public health order.

  • Require staff to stay home when showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Provide all staff with support and referrals for their mental health needs.

To protect children/parents

  • Consider implementing curbside pick-up and drop-off.

  • Implement alternative child check-in and check-out procedures that minimize parent touching of shared items (pens, paper, etc.).

  • Require parents to keep children home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness.

  • Encourage parents to take their children’s temperature prior to bringing them to child care.

  • Provide masks and encourage mask-wearing for children age 3 and up. Children under 3 should not wear masks.

  • Remove masks from children during naps and place nap mats 6 feet apart.

  • Provide frequent communication with all families of enrolled children specific to all issues in the public health order.

This guidance is for:
  • Licensed and license-exempt child care centers
  • Licensed and license-exempt In-home child care
  • Building-based school-aged programs
  • Preschools that are regulated by the school district
This guidance is not for:
  • Outdoor-based or mobile school-aged programs
  • Children's resident camps