At this time childcare centers that are not operated by P-12 schools are not required to close unless they have a positive case of COVID-19 in a student or staff member. 

It will be important to work closely with the health department as you begin considering closing a child care center. Public Health is not currently recommending that child care centers proactively close unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student. The following guidance should be considered a requirement for all schools and child care in Colorado, and child care, in partnership with the health department, can choose to close at an earlier time in order to prevent further COVID-19 transmission.

For additional information for childcares that remain open from CDC, please visit their website.

CDPHE Face Covering Guidance for Childcare Operations

Safer at Home Guidance for Childcares

  • Prioritize care for children of essential workers/parents returning to work/job seekers 
  • No more than 10 children should be in one group in a child care facility. This does not include staff.
  • 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 their healthcare provider or the health department for COVID-19 testing. (Additional Guidance)
    • To report a possible COVID-1 exposure or case in your facility, please complete this form
  • 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 (if normally done in a large group) 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/protocol to isolate staff and children who have symptoms 
  • Determine a plan for substitute staff members to cover for ill or quarantined staff
  • Require use of face coverings or masks (preferred medical grade if available, otherwise cloth)  (Additional Guidance)
  • 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 public health order
  • Require staff to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness
  • Provide all staff with support and referrals for their mental health needs
  • 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 face coverings or masks for children age 3+ per current CDPHE guidance, no face coverings or masks for children 0-3
  • Remove face coverings or 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

Increase deep cleaning to at least 2 times per week and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, tables, drinking fountains and handrails. For instructions regarding disinfecting click here. For an additional list of recommended products visit: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf

  • Any school or childcare in Colorado with a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student will close for a minimum of 24 hours for cleaning and social distancing
  • Any school or childcare that are closed will partner with the health department to conduct contact tracing and further COVID-19 testing

Decisions to reopen a childcare should be done in consultation with the health department.