Child Care Center

Online Training Videos are available for Child Care Center applications.

On November 20, 2020 Child Care Center applications were moved online. If you had a child care center license before that date, when you renew, you will have to apply as "new" online. The application fees will be waived until November 2021. 


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.



 Basic Information

How to access the online application

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(PDF, 457KB) for step by step instructions.

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

When to apply for a child care center license

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 You Apply

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!

Zoning Use Permit

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


Zoning Contact Information


Required Documents and Fees

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. 

If you are applying as a non-profit and would like to request a fee waiver:


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:
    • Child Care Center (number of children allowed for premises)

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

  • Possession of Property Certificate(PDF, 906KB) 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 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 may have applicable licenses.

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.

Application Process

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.

Once You Have Your License

License Must be Displayed

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

Amend Your License

To update your contact information, ownership, or business name please go to our Entity Registration webpage to find out how to submit those applications. Those processes are listed at the bottom of the page.

To update your on-site manager go to our Licensed Establishment webpage to find out how to submit those applications. That process is listed at the bottom of the page.