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Child Care Frequently Asked Questions

In order to provide quick responses to your questions, we have prepared this list of frequently asked questions. You may find the answer you seek without waiting for a response from our staff.

 

 

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Parents may furnish meals for their child only. However, non-potentially hazardous (non-perishable), commercially prepared (store bought) foods may be provided for children other than their own. A parent may provide homemade snacks in conjunction with a special occasion, for example a parent may bake cupcakes to celebrate a child's birthday.

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Portable wading pools are not disinfected mechanically; therefore it is important to treat the water with between 0.4 ppm (parts per million) and 2.0 ppm chlorine or equivalent disinfection, and to use a chemical test kit to verify the level of disinfectant.  In addition, wading pools should be emptied after use, or at least once a day.  Infants and toddlers who are not toilet trained should not use portable wading pools.  If a wading pool becomes contaminated, it should be immediately emptied, cleaned and disinfected.

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To schedule a health inspection, contact the local health department in the county in which the child care facilities is located.  If the county does not have a health department, contact the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at 303-692-3620.

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All licensed child care facilities serving meals must meet the requirements of the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations, with some exceptions. For example, household-type equipment may be permitted.  For a complete list of the requirements, refer to Chapter 7 of the Regulations Governing the Health and Sanitation of Child Care Facilities in the State of Colorado.

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Diapering areas require disinfection after each use. A solution of 1/4 cup of household chlorine bleach per gallon of water is an approved disinfectant. Any US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered hospital grade disinfectant equivalent to this is also approved however, the solution muste be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, be labeled and be made fresh daily or tested with a test kit to verify a concentration of 600-1000 ppm (parts per million) of chlorine.

 

Kitchen and dining area surfaces and toys should be sanitized with a solution of 1 Tablesppon of household chlorine bleach per gallon of water or 50 - 200 ppm chlorine bleach. Approved sanitizers must be equivalent in strength, registered with the US EPA and approved for use on food contact surfaces without a rinse step. Once again, a test kit should be used to confirm that sanitizer's strength. Determining whether a product is approved can be challenging. Refer to the Guidelines for the Use of Sanitizers and Disinfectants in Child Care Centers or contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or your local health department for assistance before purchase.

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Three adult caged animals weighing under five pounds each, or one animal weighing over five pounds, are permitted for a classroom of 25 children. Stabled livestock (e.g., horses) and fish in aquariums are not counted.

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Pets are not allowed in infant nurseries. Psittacine birds or any animal that may pose a health hazard to children are prohibited in all child care facilities. Animals known to be carriers of Salmonella sp. (e.g., small turtles) are an example of other prohibited animals. Wild, dangerous, or potentially aggressive animals are also prohibited. See Chapter 9 of the Regulations Governing the Health and Sanitation of Child Care Facilities in the State of Colorado.

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Sensory tables, though valuable learning tools, can quickly begin to harbor bacteria. Therefore, when filled with water, sensory tables shall be emptied after use by each group, such as a classroom, or children or at least daily. If organic materials are used, such as dried beans, rice or macaroni, they shall be used for a maximum of one week and then the materials shall be discarded.

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No.  Child care centers, as defined in 26-6-102(1.5), (2.5)(a), (5), (5.1), (8), (9), (10)(a), C.R.S., are licensed by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care.  However, these licensed child care facilities are required to have an inspection by the state or local health department and comply with the Regulations Governing the Health and Sanitation of Child Care Facilities in the State of Colorado prior to licensing and att least once every two years of operation.

 

Certain child care facility types not licesed by the Division of Child Care, such as Head Start programs, are subject to Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations licensing by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or the local health department if they serve food to the children in care.

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Facilities in counties without a local health department are not required to submit construction plans for new or remodeled facilities.  However some local and county health agencies may require plan reviews for new and extensively remodeled child care facilities. Contact the local county health department in your area to determine their requirements. All plans must be submitted to the Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care. You can contact the Division of Child Care at 303-866-5958.

  


 Please contact us if you have any further questions