Colorado Childcare
State Requirements

Director Qualifications
Who Should Apply
Individuals who are seeking employment as director or substitute director of a large child care center in Colorado must apply and obtain an Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter (OLCDQVL) from the Division of Earyl Care and Learning in order to function in this capacity.

Large center director qualification requirements are defined in Section 7.702.52 of Colorado's Rules Regulating Child Care Centers. The following information is intended to clarify the education and experience requirements for large center director qualification.

Review the Director Qualifications Chart and the Credential Equivalency Chart to help determine eligibility.

About the Process
To begin the process, an Application, Experience Chart, and Self Assessment Form (Forms A, B, C) must be completed and returned to the Director Qualifications office with all required documentation including official transcripts and letters of experience. Unofficial copies, photocopies, computer printouts, grade reports, etc., cannot be substituted for official transcripts. In addition, transcripts sent via fax cannot be accepted.
Upon receipt of application and all required documentation, your file is placed "in line" for review and evaluation.
Upon review of your application, if there is missing documentation to meet the requirements you will receive a notification from the Office. Your application will be processed only after the requested information is received. Incomplete applications missing required documentation will be purged after 6 months.
Usually within 4-8 weeks of the date that all required documentation has been received, the evaluation of your materials is completed and a written letter is mailed to you with the results of your qualification review. You will receive one of the following 3 types of letters:

1. A final letter indicating that you are fully qualified. Because we do not issue licenses or certificates to directors, this is verification that you are director qualified. Please keep the original letter for your permanent files and a photocopy on file wherever you accept employment.
2. A letter stating that you are close enough to qualification to temporarily function as director provided all requirements are completed within the grace period stipulated in the letter.
3. A letter indicating that you are not close enough to qualification to temporarily function as director and what you are lacking.

IMPORTANT: For applicants who have received a letter indicating they are not close enough to qualification, your file will be purged after 2 years if no new information has been received during that time. If this occurs, you will need to start the process again and reapply as a new applicant.

Required Coursework
As of May 1, 2010 all individuals submitting official transcripts for evaluation and/or completing necessary college coursework to become qualified as a director of a large center must complete a three-semester hour or equivalent quarter hour course from a regionally accredited college or university in each of the following ten subject areas:
Introduction to Early Childhood Professions
Introduction to Early Childhood Lab Techniques
Early Childhood Guidance Strategies for Children or the department approved Pyramid Plus training
Infant/Toddler Theory and Practice or the department approved Expanding Quality Infant/Toddler training
Early Childhood Health, Nutrition and Safety
Curriculum Development/Methods and Techniques of Teaching the Preschool-Age Child
Early Childhood Growth and Development
Administration of Early Childhood Care and Education Programs
Administration: Human Relations for Early Childhood Professions
The Exceptional Child

Use the Self Assessment Form (Form C) to review your own course work to determine if you meet the qualifications. This form must be submitted with your application.

Regionally Accrediting Organizations CDHS Recognizes
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Middle States Commision on Higher Education (MSCHE)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Commision on Institions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools - The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges
Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC_ACCJC)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-ASCU)

Director Qualifications / Early Childhood Teacher Equivalency Charts
Colorado State University - Equivalency Chart for Human Development and Family Studies Majors and Early Childhood Education Licensure Students
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Stanley British Primary School - University of Colorado at Denver - Master's Degree in EPSY with concentration in ECE for SBPS Interns
University of Colorado at Denver - Early Childhood Special Education Specialist
University of Colorado at Denver - Master's Degree in ECE
University of Northern Colorado - Bachelor's Degree in ECSE
University of Northern Colorado - Master's Degree in ECSE
Montessori Trainings Equivalent to the CDHS Early Childhood Teacher Qualifications
Rasmussen College Minnesota Equivalent Course Work
Ashworth College Equivalent Early Childhood Teacher Qualifications
Colorado State University Equivalency Chart for M.ED/Teacher Licensure Program
University of Colorado at Denver -- Friends' School

Memorandum of Understanding
Colorado Community College System / Delta Montrose Technical College

About Coursework
Schools that issue degrees based solely on "life or work experience" must be recognized by one of six regional accreditors of institutions of higher education in the United States before credit can be considered. To determine if a particular school holds regional accreditation, please visit the following website:

Beware of bogus college or university degree programs that offer “degrees” in exchange for money without requiring the student to show proof of course mastery via substantive coursework or testing, and in most cases requiring only life or work experience.

Most regionally accredited colleges in Colorado offer courses that meet the requirements for director qualification. If you have any questions about which courses you should take to satisfy the director qualification requirements, please consult with the early childhood teaching staff at one of the local colleges for advice.

Courses must be completed and documented with an official college transcript before credit can be considered. Registration in a course does not constitute completion of the course. Correspondence courses from regionally accredited colleges/universities are generally accepted. Unfortunately, some schools and/or programs are not regionally accredited as post-secondary colleges/universities, and therefore, their coursework cannot be considered for credit.

Coursework must be specific to early childhood education and course titles must clearly indicate an early childhood focus before credit can be considered. Full credit will be given to courses with titles that meet that criterion (e.g., ECE 201, Curriculum and Methods of Teaching the Young Child). If the course title does not clearly reflect an early childhood content, additional documentation (course syllabus, official course catalog description from the college, etc.) will be required.

In the area of early childhood growth and development, full credit cannot be given for a course in "Human Development" that does not focus on young children (birth to 8 years) because this course covers the entire lifespan. If your human development course focused on young children, an official course catalog description or course syllabus from your college will be needed to determine the course content.

Coursework completed in a foreign country must be translated and evaluated by one of the department approved agencies. The agency will then compare the education received in a foreign country and determine the equivalency to United States education. Foreign transcript equivalency reports will need to be submitted in a sealed envelope along with the large center director application as an official transcipt.

All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better to be considered as meeting the requirement.

About Training
All training, workshops, in-service, seminars, etc., must be completed for credit through a regionally accredited college and documented with an official transcript before credit can be considered. Non-credit training cannot be considered.

About Experience
For each position listed on the Experience Chart (FORM B), you must provide an official letter from each employer verifying the hours you worked in a child development classroom, including volunteer hours. All letters of experience must be on company letterhead, indicate the number of hours worked directly with children, hours broken down to indicate age group(s) worked with (5 and under, over 5), and include a handwritten signautre from the employer. If from out of state include a copy of the center license. Experience with children under 5 years (preschool) must be reported separately from experience with children over 5 years (school-age). Documentation that lumps all ages together (i.e., 2-12 years) cannot be accepted. Experience as a licensed family child care provider or hours worked in a licensed school-age program may count for up to half of the required hours of experience. Please note that administrative duties performed outside the classroom, such as driving a van or bus, cooking, consulting with parents, supervision of staff, etc., cannot be counted toward the experience requirement. In addition:

Experience cannot be substituted for the required college coursework. Director qualification is a two-part process requiring both college credits and experience. One cannot be substituted for the other.
Experience obtained in any of the following settings cannot be considered toward the experience requirement: unlicensed programs, Sunday school, vacation bible programs, babysitting, Scouts, nanny, home visitor programs. This may not be an exhaustive list.
Experience gained as part of a college couse you completed cannot be included in your documented hours.
Self documentation of experience by the applicant is not an acceptable form of verifiable experience.

Other Information
Because there are no agreements among States regarding requirements for director qualification, each State operates under its own unique requirements. Therefore, you must complete Colorado's application process and meet Colorado's requirements for qualification before you can be approved to function as director of a large child care center in Colorado.
Wait until you are at least finished with your coursework and have completed all experience hours before submitting materials for review.
Ask the early childhood professors at your college for academic advice.
Make sure your official transcripts document your degree and final grades have been posted before you request that an official transcript be sent to us.
Request an official course catalog description or syllabus directly from your college for courses with vague titles that do not reflect the content of the course. Official course catalog descriptions must be from the year and term the course was completed-do not send course catalog descriptions from the college's current catalog.
Make sure official letters from employers documenting your experience verify specific ages of children (see About Experience).

Applications are processed in the order received. Please note that applications cannot be processed by phone, drop-in or appointment. A complete application, including all required documentation, must be submitted to us before we can determine your director status.

Where to Send Your Application
Director Qualifications
Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714

Checklist of Materials to Submit With Your Application
Application Data Entry form (Form A)
Experience chart (Form B)
Self Assessment Form (Form C)
Official letters from employers documenting hours worked with children (hours must be separated by ages – under 5 years and over 5 years)
Copies of family child care home license (if applicable)
Official transcripts
*** Keep copies of what you send us for your files!***

All previously qualified large center directors who have met the current requirements for directors must submit a renewal application. The renewal application must be submitted along with a copy of the previously issued director letter. The Division does do not keep files for individuals who were previously qualified, therefore a request must be made to each individuals college or university to have official transcripts sent to:
Director Qualifications
Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714

Once all items are received, a revised letter will be sent within 4-6 weeks indicating the results of your qualification review.

Copies of OLCDQVL Letters Previously Issued
Copies of a final Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter (OLCDQVL) previously issued verifying that you have completed all requirements for full director qualifications are released upon written request to the director qualified individual only. Please contact in writing by mail or fax at:
Director Qualifications
Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1714
Fax 303-866-4453

Include the following information:
Current name and all former names
Current address and all former addresses
Social security number
Birth date
Date (or approximate date) the original letter was issued (if known)
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