Parent Handbook/Licensing A to Z

Student's hands using beads

Please click here to read our SKCEE Parent Handbook 



 A written statement of the center’s policies and procedures must be made available to parents and guardians and to staff and must include the following:

  1. The center’s purpose and its philosophy on child care. Denver Public Schools Early Education Department Mission Statement: To create an integrated and comprehensive system of diverse, high quality early childhood education and care services that enhances the development of young children so they are “ready to succeed” when they enter school; to support families in their role as nurturers and first teachers; and to meet the needs and financial abilities of Denver’s working parents.
  2. The ages of children accepted. 2 years, 10 months-6 years. Children must be three (3) or four (4) years of age on or before October 1 of the year of enrollment and, for Head Start classrooms, meet the income qualification guidelines.
  3. The hours the center is open, specific hours during which special programs are offered, holidays when the center is closed. Half-day Early Childhood Education (ECE) classes are typically 2 hours/40 minutes per day and full-day ECE classes are typically 6 hours/30 minutes per day Monday through Friday except for predetermined days for Professional Learning. Specific hours of operation are determined by the individual school. Holidays and District Planning Days are determined by the district calendar.
  4. The policy regarding inclement or excessively hot weather. If the school administrator determines the outdoor weather to be too extreme, either due to heat, cold or other conditions, for children to participate in outdoor activities, ECE children will not go outside.
  5. Procedure concerning admission and registration of children. Children must be three (3) or four (4) years old on or before October 1 of the year of enrollment. A legal birth certificate or other acceptable record shall be required for enrollment age verification. Payment of tuition at various levels or tuition-free status is based on family income provided at the time of application. Residents of the city and county of Denver will have priority in filling available classroom slots. Families living outside the city and county of Denver may be accepted at non-Denver resident tuition levels if space is available. Additional income requirements must be met in Head Start classrooms. ECE children register according to DPS registration and Colorado state child care licensing requirements.
  6. Itemized fee schedule. ECE student tuition is determined by a sliding fee scale based on family size income. Each applicant is given a copy of the fee scale at the time of application.
  7. Procedure for identifying where children are at all times. Children are signed in and out at the start and end of each class by the parent/guardian or other adult person for whom written authorization has been given by the parent/guardian. Only full signatures are acceptable on the sign-in/out forms, not initials. Teachers do regular roll-calls and head counts at daily transition times, such as returning from the playground, lining up for a trip to the library, etc. Children are not allowed to leave the classroom or group unaccompanied at any time.
  8. The center’s procedure on guidance, positive instruction, supporting positive behaviors, discipline and consequences, including how the center will:
    • Cultivate positive child, staff and family relationships. ECE staff work to develop a personal relationship with each student during daily classroom interactions and with the student’s family by positive and respectful communication. Opportunities include phone and in-person conferencing, classroom volunteering, extracurricular activities, and, in some cases, home visits.
    • Create and maintain a socially and emotionally respectful early learning and care environment. Positive social and emotional behaviors are taught in the ECE classroom and students are given scaffolded support to understand, practice and develop these skills.
    • Implement teaching strategies supporting positive behavior, pro-social peer interaction, and overall social and emotional competence in young children. Individual district schools use various approaches to support social/emotional competence including CLASS, No Nonsense Nurturing, Dinosaur School, and Pyramid Plus.
    • Provide individualized social and emotional intervention supports for children who need them, including methods for understanding child behavior; and developing, adopting and implementing a team-based positive behavior support plan with the intent to reduce challenging behavior and prevent suspensions and expulsions. ECE programs follow their respective school’s code of conduct and Board of Education policy JK-R. DPS prioritizes guidance strategies that are rooted primarily in therapeutic interventions or restorative practices.
    • Access an early childhood mental health consultant or other specialist as needed. The DPS Division of Student Services provides school partners that can assist with helping to address significant behavior needs of ECE students. Head Start funded sites include direct consultation with Denver Health staff.
  9. The procedure, including notification of parents and guardians, for handling children’s illnesses, accidents and injuries. Parents are informed in writing of all illnesses, accidents and injuries on the day of occurrence unless the incident warrants immediate attention in which case appropriate procedures are initiated and the parents are contacted.
  10. The procedures for responding to emergencies such as lost children, tornadoes, and fires. Staff attempts to locate a missing child, informing appropriate authorities, including police, sheriff, etc., based on the location from which the child is missing. After 15 minutes, emergency procedures, as defined in G, I, and any other related procedures, apply. Fire drills are held at schools monthly; tornado drills are held monthly from March – October; shelter-in-place, lockdown, and active shooter drills are held three times per year/each school year to ensure students become familiar with the procedure.
  11. The procedure for transporting children, if applicable, including transportation arrangements and parental permission for excursions and related activities. Parent/guardian permission for excursions is signed upon enrollment. Parents/guardians are notified prior to all field trips requiring transportation of children. District transportation procedures are used for field trips and in cases of scheduled transportation of children to and from school in compliance with Colorado Department of Transportation and state child care licensing regulations.
  12. The procedure governing field trips, television and video viewing and special activities, including staff responsibility for the supervision of children. Parent/guardian permission for excursions, media and internet use is required annually in Denver Public Schools and is furnished at registration. TV, recorded media, and video use is NOT encouraged in Early Childhood Education classrooms. However, if such use is believed to be relevant by an ECE teacher, school policies, as determined by the principal and Collaborative School Committee, will apply and will be limited to 30 minutes per week. Computer and tablet use in the ECE classroom is designed to support and enhance children’s skills in alignment with curriculum goals but is limited to non-consecutive fifteen (15) minute increments, not to exceed 30 minutes per day.
  13. The policy on children’s safety related to riding in a vehicle, seating, supervision, and emergency procedures on the road. Public school transportation guidelines in compliance with Colorado Department of Transportation regulations are followed. No enrolled preschool child in
  14. Parent/guardian applies for and is granted an exception by the DPS Department of Transportation.
  15. The procedure for releasing children from the center only to persons for whom the center has written authorization. Parents/guardians are required to complete a Parent/Guardian Information and Permissions form when enrolling their ECE child that lists only those adults to whom their child may be released. Children may be released to other adults with written parent/guardian approval. At least one piece of identification must be inspected (and a copy kept in the child’s file) for individuals who are strangers to ECE staff. Per state licensing requirements, parents, guardians or others authorized in writing by the parent or guardian are required to sign children in and out of the classroom daily.
  16. The procedures followed when a child is picked up from the center after the center is closed or not picked up at all, and to ensure that all children are picked up before the staff leave for the day. If ECE children are not picked up on time and then escorted to the office, there should be a fully background checked person (Licensing Trails, CBI, FBI) caring for them in the office and that person should have ECT or AECT qualifications on file. If it is office staff that are caring for the children, then either DPS has to background check those office staff under the ECE license and keep qualifications for them on file, or children can be cared for in the classroom by a qualified ECE staff member until parents can be reached.
  17. The procedure for caring for children who arrive late to the center and their class/group is away from the center on a field trip or excursion. All children will be taken care of upon arrival by school personnel. A plan is in place at each school that meets the needs of their community.
  18. The procedure for storing and administering children’s medicines and delegation of medication administration in compliance with Section 12-38-132, C.R.S., of the “Nurse Practice Act.” In DPS, each school’s procedure for storage and administration of medication as designated by the “Nurse Practice Act” is applicable to the Early Childhood classrooms. School staff trained and delegated to administer medications to ECE students will be specified in the school nurse’s planning book. Only those ECE classrooms trained and delegated to administer emergency or routine medications will store required medications in the classroom.
  19. The procedure concerning children’s personal belongings and money. A limited space is provided for each child’s personal belongings. Parents/guardians are advised that children do not bring money or valuables to school. Should a child bring money or valuables or when special event purchases occur, classroom staff collects the money or valuables at the beginning of the session for safekeeping. Valuable items and cash for non-specific uses are returned at the end of the day.
  20. Meals and snacks. Meals and snacks are nutritious and either determined by program requirements, or can be site-based choices.
  21. Diapering and toilet training. Children enrolling in Denver Public Schools ECE will be supported in becoming independent in their toileting routine. In case an accident occurs, the staff will treat the child with care and respect. Parents will be notified. A child’s need for toilet training cannot be the basis for denying enrollment to an Early Childhood Education student. In classrooms where diapering is required, CDHS regulations from Personal Hygiene and Space Requirements will be followed in addition to CDPHE diapering regulations.
  22. Visitors to the center. Per Denver Public Schools Policy KI, visitors must report to the school office when entering, receiving authorization before visiting elsewhere in the building. In the ECE classroom, visitors will sign in with name, date, address, phone number and purpose of their visit. At least one piece of identification must be inspected for individuals who are unknown to ECE staff.
  23. Parent and staff conferences to inform the parents or guardians of the child’s behavior, progress, and social and physical needs. Conferences are held twice a year or as needed.
  24. The procedure for filing a complaint about childcare (see 7.701.5, General Rules for Child Care Facilities). Posted in each classroom:

25. Reporting of child abuse (see 7.701.5, General Rules for Child Care Facilities). Posted in each classroom:  

26. Notification when childcare service is withdrawn and when parents or guardians withdraw their children from the center. In order to withdraw a child from an ECE classroom parents/ guardians are required to inform the teacher and school office staff. Individual school procedures for withdrawal are implemented. In extreme cases, withdrawal of childcare services may occur after parents/guardians have been informed of steps necessary to maintain services and compliance has not been achieved within a specified time period.