Individuals who are seeking employment as director or substitute director of a large child care center in Colorado must apply and obtain an Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter (OLCDQVL) from CDHS, Division of Child Care, in order to function in this capacity. Large center director qualification requirements are defined in Section 7.702.52 of Colorado's Rules Regulating Child Care Centers. The following information is intended to clarify the education and experience requirements for large center director qualification.
Please review the Director Qualifications Chart to help determine eligibility.
Director candidates who submit an official transcript (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) from a Regionally Accredited college or university (see ABOUT COURSEWORK, page #2) documenting a bachelor or master’s degree with a major in early childhood, early childhood special education or child development will be reviewed for core content to determine if qualification can be granted. Each applicant must complete an Application Data Form (FORM A) and send it to the Division of Child Care with all required documentation (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) to confirm their qualification.
Director candidates with degrees in Human Development, Child/Family Development, Individual/Family Development, etc., do not automatically qualify as a large child care center director and will need to verify the required 30 semester hours of coursework and document the required number of hours of experience, using Experience Chart (FORM B) and an official letter from each employer confirming your experience with children (see ABOUT EXPERIENCE, page #2).
All training, including Montessori, workshops, in-service, seminars, etc., must be completed for credit through a regionally accredited college and documented with an official transcript (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) before credit can be considered. Non-credit training cannot be considered.
All individuals submitting official transcripts (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) for evaluation and/or completing necessary college coursework to become qualified as a director of a large center must complete a three-semester hour course from a Regionally Accredited college or university in each of the following ten subject areas:
Please use the Large Center Director Qualifications Self-Assessment to review your own course work first to deterimine if you meet the qualifications and to send the applicable supporting documentation with your application.
The following is a list of regionally accrediting organizations CDHS recognizes:
The following is a list of regionally accrediting organizations CDHS recognizes:
Schools that issue degrees based solely on “life or work experience” must be recognized by one of six regional accreditors of institutions of higher education in the United States before credit can be considered. To determine if a particular school holds regional accreditation, please visit the following web site: www.k12.wa.us/certification/colleges/reg_accred.html.
**CAVEAT EMPTOR – LET THE BUYER BEWARE – DIPLOMA MILL WARNING**
Beware of bogus college or university degree programs that offer “degrees” in exchange for money without requiring the student to show proof of course mastery via substantive coursework or testing, and in most cases requiring only life or work experience.
Most regionally accredited colleges in Colorado offer courses that meet the requirements for director qualification. If you have any questions about which courses you should take to satisfy the director qualification requirements, please consult with the early childhood teaching staff at one of the local colleges for advice.
Courses must be completed and documented with an official college transcript (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) before credit can be considered. Registration in a course does not constitute completion of the course. Correspondence courses from regionally accredited colleges/universities are generally accepted. Unfortunately, some schools and/or programs are not regionally accredited as post-secondary colleges/universities, and therefore, their coursework cannot be considered for credit.
Coursework completed in a foreign country must be translated and evaluated by one of the department approved agencies. The agency will then compare the education received in a foreign country and determine the equivalency to United States education. Foreign transcript equivalency reports will need to be submitted in a sealed envelope along with the large center director application as an official transcript (official transcript in a sealed envelope mailed directly from your college to the Division of Child Care) from a regionaly accredited college or university.
Coursework must be specific to early childhood education and course titles must clearly indicate an early childhood focus before credit can be considered. Full credit will be given to courses with titles that meet that criterion (e.g., “ECE 201, Curriculum and Methods of Teaching the Young Child”). If the course title does not clearly reflect an early childhood content, additional documentation (course syllabus, official course catalog description from the college, etc.) will be required.
In the area of early childhood growth and development, full credit cannot be given for a course in “Human Development” that does not focus on young children (birth to 8 years) because this course covers the entire lifespan. If your human development course focused on young children, an official course catalog description or course syllabus from your college will be needed to determine the course content.
For each position listed on the Experience Chart (FORM B), you must provide an official letter from each employer verifying the hours you worked in a child development classroom, including volunteer hours. Experience with children under 5 years (preschool) must be reported separately from experience with children over 5 years (school-age). Documentation that lumps all ages together (i.e., 2-12 years) cannot be accepted. Experience as a licensed family child care provider or hours worked in a licensed school-age program may count for up to half of the required hours of experience. Please note that administrative duties performed outside the classroom, such as driving a van or bus, cooking, consulting with parents, supervision of staff, etc., cannot be counted toward the experience requirement. In addition:
To begin the process, an Application Data Form (FORM A) and Experience Chart (FORM B) must be completed and returned to the Director Qualifications office at the address shown below, with all required documentation including official transcripts mailed directly from a regionally accredited college or university to the Division of Child Care (see ABOUT COURSEWORK, page #2). Unofficial copies, photocopies, computer printouts, grade reports, etc., cannot be substituted for official transcripts. In addition, transcripts sent via fax cannot be accepted.
Usually within 4-6 weeks of the date that all required documentation has been received, the evaluation of your materials is completed and a written letter is mailed to you with the results of your qualification review. You will receive one of the following 3 types of letters:
IMPORTANT: Incomplete applications with missing information such experience letters and official transcripts will be purged after 6 months. Incomplete director applicant files not previously qualified are purged after 2 years if no new information has been received during that time. If this occurs, you will need to start the process again and reapply as a new applicant. IF YOU HOLD A CURRENT DEPARTMENT APPROVED LETTER ~ THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU.
Applications are processed in the order received. Please note that applications cannot be processed by phone, drop-in or appointment. A complete application, including all required documentation, must be submitted to us before we can determine your director status.
If you are unable to access this information online, you may also obtain a large child care center director qualification packet by calling the CDHS Division of Child Care at 303-866-5958 or 1-800-799-5876. Please leave your complete name and address on the automated system and an application packet will be mailed to you.
Keep copies of what you send us for your files!
Division of Child Care, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714
Director Qualifications Hotline - 303-866-4722
Copies of a final Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter (OLCDQVL) previously issued verifying that you have completed all requirements for full director qualification are released upon written request to the director qualified individual only. Please write (or fax at 303-866-4453) the Division of Child Care, Director Qualifications, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver, CO 80203, and include the following information:
Please contact Heather Sporrer at 303-866-6190 or Heather.Sporrer@state.co.us.