Family Child Care

Are you thinking about opening a licensed family child care home? Providing child care in your home can be an exciting and rewarding career choice that provides you with the opportunity to impact the health and development of children and help them to become caring, responsible, successful adults. All while enjoying the satisfaction of owning your own business and earning an income at home with your own children.

In Colorado, a Family Child Care Home (FCCH) license is required if you want to provide less than twenty-four-hour care at any time for more than four children under the age of 18 years in your home. This includes your own children. No more than two of the four children cared for can be under the age of two years at any time. Use this chart to help you determine if a child care license is needed.

To be successful, you will need to have:

  • Good physical and emotional health
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • The ability to understand good business practices and licensing requirements
  • The support of other family members who live in your home
  • Be able to provide a warm, responsive and safe environment for the children in your care
  • Be willing to attend ongoing trainings as required by the state and to further your understanding of child development
  • Patience and a sense of humor!

To get started:

  • Visit the Office of Early Childhood Family Child Care Homes webpage.
  • Review the General Rules Regulating Child Care Facilities (7.701), the Licensing Rules Regulating Family Child Care Homes (7.707) and the Rules Regulating Special Activities (7.719) issued by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).
  • Read through the CDHS Family Child Care Home License Submission Guide.
  • Ensure you have local approval (HOA, landlord, compliance with local zoning regulations, building and planning ordinances).
  • Complete the Division of Early Care and Learning’s Family Child Care Home Application and provide proof of legal residency, background checks and health evaluations for all persons living in the home and submit the required forms and fees.
  • Complete the required trainings prior to your licensing inspection.
    • Pre-licensing Training *Boulder County Pre-licensing Training includes orientation and graduation sessions to help you understand the process and connect you to local resources.
    • Building & Physical Premises, Safety/Storage of Hazardous, Materials & Bio-Contaminants
    • Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response
    • Prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma
    • Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome & Use of Safe Sleeping Practices
    • CPR & First Aid Certification
    • Standard Precautions (prevention and control of infectious disease)
    • Medication Administration
  • Schedule and pass an original licensing inspection with an Office of Early Childhood licensing specialist.

Additional resources to help you on your journey:

Child Care Aware of America: Opening a Family Child Care Home

Colorado Small Business Development Center: Colorado Business Resource Book

Boulder County P.I.E.: Personal Investment Enterprise program

Boulder County Family Child Care Association

Contact an ECCBC staff member with questions on local training opportunities, Colorado Shines, financial incentive programs, getting child care referrals, and more.