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Child Care Center Applications Moved Online!

The Department of Excise and Licenses has moved applications for Child Care Center licenses online beginning November 19, 2020.

Child Care Home applications will continue to be processed as normal. Their process is listed below the Child Care Center online process.

What is a Child Care Center?

Facility which is maintained for the whole or part of a day but for less than twenty-four hour care of 5 or more children from the ages of 6 weeks through 16 years

Important: You must also be licensed through the state. See link under "Get your license". If you are exempt from having a state child care license, then you do not need a Denver Business License for Child Care.

Applications for Child Care Center licenses are only submitted online.

Basic Information

You can access the online application by clicking on the blue buttons on the right-hand side of this page.

A child care center applicant can check the status of an application at any time through the online application portal. Please download our Application Status Check-In Guide for step by step instructions.

We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Safari browsers to complete the online application.

We recommend that current child care centers apply for a new child care center license 30 days before their current license expires. This will ensure that Excise and Licenses has plenty of time to process the application so that there is no lapse in the child care center's ability to work.

Applying for a New Child Care Center License

Before beginning your online application, please take the following actions:

  1. Read the ordinance governing child care center licenses to ensure that this license is right for you.
  2. Start gathering all of the required documents listed in the next section of this website. Make sure the documents are filled out completely and uploaded onto your computer. Note that some documents may take several days to obtain, such as a Zoning Use Permit.
  3. Ensure that you have a banking account, Mastercard, Visa, or Discover card that you can use to pay online.
  4. Start your application!

A Zone Use Permit is required before obtaining a Child Care Center license. 

A Zone Use Permit is required for obtaining a Child Care Home license.

A use permit is a document granting the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. "Use" can be defined as any activity, occupation, business or operation transacted in a building or on a lot/tract of land.

You can use the resources on the Internet to plan ahead before you lease or buy property and before you apply for your business license.  Follow the steps below to learn more about the approved zone uses for the address where you want to locate your business.  Start on the  Find Your Zoning page.

  1. Enter the desired address.  Click Search.
  2. Note the Zone District.
  3. Click on the + to Expand for more information. 
  4. Note the Neighborhood Context.
  5. Click on the link for the Zoning Code or in Former Chapter 59.
  6. Click on the Article # for the Neighborhood Context noted above.
  7. Open the document and scroll to the "Use" tables at the bottom of the document.
  8. Find the "Use" category in the left column and the Zone District in the columns to the right.
  9. The code in the intersecting square represents the permitted use.  (There is a key to the codes at the top of every page.)

Ultimately, the zone use permit for your business license must be approved and issued by the Zoning department.  Learn more about the Denver Zoning Code or visit the Zoning Office.

 

Applying for a Zone Use Permit

 

Office Hours and Location

General Hours:  8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Webb Municipal Office Building

201 W. Colfax Avenue, 2nd Floor

 

Phone

All City Services:  (720) 913-1311

General:  (720) 865-3000

 

Email

zoning.review@denvergov.org

Upon application, you will need to pay a license fee based off of the number of children.

License Fee: 

$25.00 - 1 to 8 children

$100.00 - 9 to 25 children 

$200.00 - 26 + children

These fees can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover Card. 

During the application process, a package will be assembled for you from the following three applications.

A Licensed Establishment Application

This application captures information about the location where you operate the Child Care Center. You will be asked to provide:

  • valid Denver address
  • Zoning Use Permit issued at the address of your Licensed Establishment that demonstrates one of the following uses:
    • Retail Sales, Service & Repair, All Other
    • Food Sales or Market
    • Automobile Services
    • Eating & Drinking Establishment

Please note: The name of the business on the Zoning Use permit does not have to match the License Holder name. If you have questions, contact zoning.review@denvergov.org.

  • Possession of Property Certificate or Lease that shows that you either own the property or will have possession of it for at least 90 days after the day you submit your application. If submitting a lease, please submit in it's entirety to include sublease, amendments, assignments, signature pages, etc.
  • If renting, a letter from landlord granting permission for Child Care Center. Letter must also state which rooms in building will be utilized for child care.
  • A detailed Floor Plan. See webpage for instructions.
  • Details for one to three On-Site Managers*, including their name, date of birth, home address and contact information. On-site Managers are individual(s) you designate who have the authority to make decisions regarding the Licensed Establishment. They must have access to and control over the Licensed Establishment at all times. A copy of a Valid State or Federally Issued ID.

An Entity Registration Application

This application captures ownership information about the person or entity that will hold the license. You will be asked to provide:

  • The Entity Type (one of the following):
    • Sole Proprietor
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership
    • For-Profit Corporation
    • Non-Profit Corporation
  • The True Name of the Entity or Person who will hold the license
  • A list of any Trade Names under which the entity operates
  • Details about any individual who owns 10% or more of the entity including their name, date of birth, home address, and contact information
  • Sole Proprietors will be asked to upload a copy of a Valid State or Federally Issued ID
  • Corporations, LLCs, and Partnerships will be asked to upload a copy of their Organizational Documents, such as Bylaws, an Operating Agreement, a Partnership Agreement, Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing, etc., as applicable

Please note: Any entity or person that will hold multiple Retail Tobacco Store Licenses in Denver will only have to complete this application once. We will then issue an Entity Registration ID that you can provide in lieu of this application in the application packages you will need to submit for other locations where you sell tobacco products.

A Child Care Center License Application

This application verifies that you are eligible to obtain a Child Care Center License and reviews the rules and laws you must abide by as a license holder.

NOTE - Excise and Licenses will strive to process any application for a new child care center license within 7 business days. The application review process may take longer if the application is found to be incomplete or if a police review is required.

The application process for a new child care center license is as follows:

  1. The applicant submits an application online. All required documents must be uploaded before the application is submitted.
  2. Excise and Licenses will review the application and supporting documents for completeness. If the application is found to be incomplete, a "notice of deficiency" email will be sent to the applicant allowing 14 days for corrections.
  3. If the applicant is found to be eligible for licensing, a copy of the child care center's professional license will be emailed to the applicant, allowing the child care center to immediately start operating.
  4. The child care center should read the section below titled 'Once You Have Your License' and be sure to adhere to each of the specified requirements of licensure.

License Must be Carried and Badge Must be Displayed While Working

Excise and Licenses will email a professional license to all child care centers. This license (or a clear picture of the professional license) must be displayed by the child care center at all times during which the child care center is operating.

Requirement to Keep Contact Information Up to Date

If a child care center's contact information changes, they must file an online amendment application notifying Excise and Licenses of the change.

Requirement to Renew Annually

Professional licenses expire annually. It is unlawful for a child care center to operate with an expired license. Renewal applications must be filed online with Excise and Licenses before a license expires.

Notifications & Amendments

WHEN & HOW TO FILE

If you would like to update your contact information, please use the link on the right-hand side of this page to access our online licensing portal. Once you arrive at the "My Licenses" page, select the "Amendment" action for the license you wish to update, and then follow the prompts.

LEGAL NAME CHANGES

If your legal name changed, please e-mail a written request to EXL_Notifications@denvergov.org and include one of the following documents in your e-mail:

  • A certified copy of a marriage certificate indicating your new name
  • A certified copy of a final divorce decree in which the judge listed your desired name change directly on the decree
  • Other certified court documents granting a legal name change

What is a Child Care Home?

Private residence providing care and education for periods of less than 24 hours for up to 12 children from 2 to 16 years old.

Important: You must also be licensed through the state. See link under "Get your license". If you are exempt from having a state child care license, then you do not need a Denver Business License for Child Care.

Applications for Child Care Home licenses may be submitted per instructions listed below.

How to Submit an Application

There are a variety of ways that you can submit your New or Renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, please make sure to include your Business File Number (BFN) with the submittal.

1.      In an effort to protect public safety, in-person customer service at Excise and Licenses is being offered by appointment only. Please visit our appointments website to make an appointment. 

2.      All license applications not available online can be submitted via email, EXLSubmit@denvergov.org, during this health crisis. Please visit our email application process page for more information on submitting email applications.

3.      You may also mail in your application with fees to:

City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and License
201 W Colfax Ave, Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

You may also pay for your applications online or via phone once you have submitted your application to Excise and Licenses. We will send you an invoice and you may pay virtually. Please visit our online payment process page for more information on how to submit payment for your applications.

For questions, please email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

Excise and Licenses will not offer fingerprinting services on site. This website offers information on fingerprinting services authorized by Colorado Applicant Background Services.

How to Get a New Child Care Home License

A Zone Use Permit is required before obtaining a Child Care Center license. 

A Zone Use Permit is required for obtaining a Child Care Home license.

A use permit is a document granting the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. "Use" can be defined as any activity, occupation, business or operation transacted in a building or on a lot/tract of land.

You can use the resources on the Internet to plan ahead before you lease or buy property and before you apply for your business license.  Follow the steps below to learn more about the approved zone uses for the address where you want to locate your business.  Start on the  Find Your Zoning page.

  1. Enter the desired address.  Click Search.
  2. Note the Zone District.
  3. Click on the + to Expand for more information. 
  4. Note the Neighborhood Context.
  5. Click on the link for the Zoning Code or in Former Chapter 59.
  6. Click on the Article # for the Neighborhood Context noted above.
  7. Open the document and scroll to the "Use" tables at the bottom of the document.
  8. Find the "Use" category in the left column and the Zone District in the columns to the right.
  9. The code in the intersecting square represents the permitted use.  (There is a key to the codes at the top of every page.)

Ultimately, the zone use permit for your business license must be approved and issued by the Zoning department.  Learn more about the Denver Zoning Code or visit the Zoning Office.

 

Applying for a Zone Use Permit

 

Office Hours and Location

General Hours:  8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Webb Municipal Office Building

201 W. Colfax Avenue, 2nd Floor


Phone

All City Services:  (720) 913-1311

General:  (720) 865-3000

 

Email

zoning.review@denvergov.org

 

Child Care Home
  • Zone Use Permit
  • Business Questionnaire
  • Right of Possession Documents (Lease or Deed). The lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date the application is submitted.
  • If renting, a letter from landlord granting permission for Child Care Center. Letter must also state which rooms in building will be utilized for child care.
  • Floor Plan: Provide a floor plan, or multiple floor plans, on a standard 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. Separate floors must be shown on separate pieces of paper and clearly identified (i.e. Basement, First Floor, etc.). Your floor plan submission must include:
    • The physical layout of the establishment with the principal uses of each room in the premises legibly labeled. The rooms for use must match the locations authorized on the Right of Possession Document (Lease or Deed) and outlined in red.
    • The legible identification of age groups designated to be in each room and the square footage of each unique room.
    • The document must indicate all ingress and egress locations.
  • Affidavit of Lawful Presence (if business is an individual or sole proprietor)
  • Valid State or Federally Issued ID

 

 

Application Fee: 

$25.00 - 1 to 8 children

$100.00 - 9 to 25 children

$200.00 - 26 + children 

 

License Fee: 

$25.00 - 1 to 8 children

$100.00 - 9 to 25 children 

$200.00 - 26 + children 

 

Fees can be paid with cash, check,  money order or credit card.  Checks should be made payable to Manager of Finance. 

Child Care Home

  • Department of Public Health and Environment (720) 865-5401
  • Denver Fire Department (720) 913-3409

Notify the Department of Excise and Licenses, at licenses@denvergov.org, that you would like your license emailed to you when all of the steps below have been completed.  

  1. All documents required for the license are complete and submitted to the office.
  2. The background check, if applicable, is accepted and approved.
  3. Fees are paid in full.
  4. All required inspections, if applicable, are passed.

Child Care Centers and Child Care Homes must also be licensed through the State of Colorado. If you are exempt from having a state child care license, then you do not need a Denver Business License for Child Care. To see if you are exempt go to the state link.

 

 

Renew a Child Care Home License

Child Care Home
  • Right of Possession Document (Lease or Deed)
  • If renting, a letter from landlord granting permission for Child Care Center. Letter must also state which rooms in building will be utilized for child care.
  • Floor Plan: Provide a floor plan, or multiple floor plans, on a standard 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. Separate floors must be shown on separate pieces of paper and clearly identified (i.e. Basement, First Floor, etc.). Your floor plan submission must include:
    • The physical layout of the establishment with the principal uses of each room in the premises legibly labeled. The rooms for use must match the locations authorized on the Right of Possession Document (Lease or Deed) and outlined in red.
    • The legible identification of age groups designated to be in each room and the square footage of each unique room.
    • The document must indicate all ingress and egress locations.

 

License Fee: 

$25.00 - 1 to 8 children

$100.00 - 9 to 25 children 

$200.00 - 26 + children 

Licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date to avoid penalty fees.

90 Day Grace Period

There is a 90 day grace period from the expiration date during which licenses can be renewed by paying the license fee and a penalty fee.

First 30 days of grace period:  20% penalty fee

Days 31 - 90:  50% penalty fee

After 90 days:  Licensees will be required to apply for a new license

 

  • Department of Excise and Licenses inspectors will attempt to locate and notify business license holders of the approaching expiration date.  However, failure of an inspector to notify a delinquent licensee that its license has expired does not excuse the licensee from any applicable late penalty.

 
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