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Licensed Centers


Licensed Child Care Centers provide a vital service supporting society by nourishing the next generation’s minds. The resources below are tailored to the unique needs of large centers.


Learn a bit more about the distinctions between different types of non-home licensure below. For specific questions about licensing, please contact your local licensing specialist or visit the Colorado Office of Early Childhood website for additional guidance.

Child Care Centers - Less than 24 hour care
School-Age Child Care Centers
Resident Camps
Neighborhood Youth Organizations
Day Treatment Centers (24-hour facility)
Child care centers, less than 24-hour care, provide comprehensive care for children when the parents or guardians are employed or otherwise unavailable to care for the children. Child care centers may operate 24 hours a day, but the children are cared for at the center fewer than 24 hours a day.
A “school-age child care center” is a child care center that provides care for five or more children who are between five and eighteen years old. The center operates for more than one week during the year. The term includes facilities commonly known as “day camps,” “summer camps,” “summer playground programs,” “before and after school programs,” and “extended day programs.” This includes centers operating with or without compensation for such care, and with or without stated educational purposes.
A “residential camp” means a facility operating for three or more consecutive twenty-four-hour days during one or more seasons of the year for the care of five or more children. The facility shall have as its purpose a group living experience offering education and recreational activities in an outdoor environment. The recreational experiences may occur at the permanent camp premises or on trips off the premises. A children's resident camp serves children who have completed kindergarten or are six years of age or older through children younger than nineteen years of age.
“Neighborhood Youth Organization” means a nonprofit organization that is designed to serve youth as young as six years of age and as old as eighteen years of age and that operates primarily during times of the day when school is not in session and provides research-based, age-appropriate, and character building activities designed exclusively for the development of youth from six to eighteen years of age.
A “day treatment center” provides less than 24 hour care for groups of five or more children from three to twenty-one years old. The center will provide a structured program of various types of psycho-socio and/or behavioral treatments to prevent or reduce the need for placement of the child out of the home or community.


Substitute Pool

Early Childhood Hourly Teachers, LLC (ECHT) provides staff coverage when there is a planned or unplanned staff absence at licensed centers and homes. Their goal is to provide high quality early childhood professionals to support early childhood centers for flexible periods of time at an affordable rate. Providers can request substitutes weeks or months in advance if they anticipate the need and can request the same substitute if they found a good fit. Their substitutes are:

  • ECT qualified and, in many cases, Director qualified as stated by Rules and Regulation from the State of Colorado
  • Deeply caring towards the well-being of the children
  • Extremely professional

Have you signed up to utilize the Mesa County Substitute Pool? Getting “on board” to use this service is free for programs and takes about 10 minutes! Visit their website for more information or reach out to maru.ecthourly@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Background Checks

New background check rule requirements were implemented to better align with the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) regulations. Effective September 30, 2020, prospective staff who have lived outside of Colorado in the past five years are required to provide the following three background checks for each state they have lived in prior to employment or being allowed to work unsupervised:

  • State Criminal History Check (SCH)
  • State Sex Offender Registry Check (SSOR)
  • State Child Abuse and Neglect Registry Check (SCAN)

Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood’s website contains comprehensive guidance to ensure compliance with rule and regulations.

Work Experience Internships

The Work Experience Internship is a collaborative, short term, paid work activity which provides an individual with the opportunity to acquire the skill and knowledge necessary to perform a job. It includes:

  • Instruction in workplace skills, using goals, and structure
  • Exposure to various aspects of an industry
  • Internship and job shadowing
  • Integration of basic academic skills into work activities

Approved funding is provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grant provides funding and wages are paid directly to the individual intern through the Mesa County Workforce Center.

Learn more by visiting their website.

Utilizing Restitution Labor for Projects

Partners’ Restitution Program allows youth, who are court-ordered, the opportunity to perform community service hours and/or earn restitution to pay their victims. The program helps youth satisfy court-ordered obligations, provides educational and prevention classes, instills work ethic, accountability and responsibility for actions. The program works with other youth agencies, non-profits, government agencies, schools and churches in the community.

Partners Restitution crews must abide by child labor laws and can be hired for:

  • Yard work
  • Assembly work
  • Event cleanup
  • Deconstruction
  • Irrigation ditch digging and cleanup
  • Graffiti cleanup
  • General cleanup
  • Trash pick up

Learn more by visiting their website. Please call the Job Site Coordinator at 970-245-5555 ext. 103 or directly at 970-730-2025 to schedule a work crew.

Equips caregivers with essential information to promote their child’s healthy development through the most pivotal early stages of life.

Please complete the 15 survey above annually to ensure referrals are accurate.



The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement for healthy meals and snacks served to Colorado’s children and adults in child care centers and homes, afterschool programs, emergency and homeless shelters, Head Start, Early Head Start, and outside-school-hours programs and adult day care centers. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the CACFP and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment administers the program.

  • When School’s Out: A comparison of child nutrition options (Afterschool Snack Program, CACFP’s afterschool program and the Summer Food Service Program).
  • Use this cost-benefit tool to see how your program can benefit from CACFP participation.

Visit this website for more information. For additional support in Mesa County, please contact morgan.haynie@mesacounty.us