Background Checks

  • About Background Checks

    Background checks are processed through the Background Investigation Unit (BIU), which is a part of the Division of Early Care and Learning. The BIU performs two different types of background checks: ​

    1. Criminal Background Checks: This is a fingerprint-based criminal background check that is completed for employees and owners of a licensed child care facility, including Family Child Care Homes. The individual providing care in the Family Child Care Home and anyone living in that home will need to complete a background check.
    2. Background Inquiry Checks: This is a check of the Colorado Department of Human Services’ (CDHS) Trails database for confirmed reports of child abuse or neglect. This check is done when a written request and fee is submitted to the BIU for employees and workers of licensed child care centers and for people requesting this information.
  • Criminal Background Check (CBC)

    The BIU works with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) when searching criminal history on all employees or workers of child care centers. The criminal background check process starts when a fingerprint card has been submitted and the background check fee has been paid. An individual’s fingerprint card will be flagged if an employee is arrested after the original fingerprints are processed.  ​

    Fingerprint cards and fees for Family Child Care Homes should be sent directly to the Office of Early Childhood. Fingerprint cards for Child Care Centers should be sent directly to the CBI. 


    How to Fill Out a Fingerprint Card

    • Complete the following items on each card: Name (full name), Aliases (any other names used), Citizenship (U.S Citizen, Non-U.S. Citizen), Social Security Number, Address and the reason why fingerprints are needed.
    • Be sure to complete the physical details section of the card (Sex, Race, Height, Weight, Eyes and Hair), Date of Birth and Place of Birth. Leave the “Employer and Address” space blank. 
    • Take the fingerprint card(s) to a local law enforcement agency, such as a police department or sheriff’s office, for fingerprinting. The officer taking the fingerprints must sign and date the card(s) and witness the signature of the person being fingerprinted. 
    • Make check payable to the “CBI” for required Criminal Background Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation fees.
    • Mail completed fingerprint cards and payment to:
    Colorado Bureau of Investigation
    690 Kipling Street, Ste 3000
    Lakewood, CO 80215


    Are individuals required to submit fingerprint cards for each facility they work at? 

    Colorado state laws limit portability of criminal background checks. An individual must submit finger print cards for each child care facility they are employed at.

    Learn more about the criminal background check and CBI.

  • Background Inquiry Checks

    The BIU also conducts background inquiry checks. This is a review of the CDHS Trails database to check if an individual or employee has any confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect. 

    Employees working at more than one child care or preschool locations operated by the same governing body (e.g. school district) require only one Trails background check.

    How to request a Background Inquiry Check

    • Print, complete and sign a Background Inquiry Form. Instructions and sample forms are available upon request.  You will use one of the following:
    • Write check payable to the “CDHS-BIU Records and Reports” for required Background Investigation with the required fee of $28 per form.
    • Mail completed form(s) and payment to:

    Background Investigation Unit
    Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
    1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
    Denver, CO 80203-1714


    How do I know which form to use?

    Facility Inquiry Form
    This check is not a criminal background check. This background inquiry is a check for any confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect. If you are a licensed child care facility, this check does not replace the criminal background check required for licensure. The criminal background check begins when a completed fingerprint card is turned in to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  
    Individual Inquiry Form
    The Individual Inquiry form should only be submitted for those individuals or facilities not licensed or required to be licensed by the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Early Care and Learning. The individual form includes a Waiver and Authorization to Release Information section. In order for the information to be released directly to another person or agency, this authorization must be completed and signed by the individual for whom the background check is being completed.  


    What if I live outside of Colorado?

    If you live outside of Colorado, but need to complete this check in your state, you can submit the Individual Inquiry Form with the Waiver of Authorization to Release Information section (if necessary) along with the $28 fee to:

    CDHS Background Investigation Unit
    1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
    Denver, CO 80203

  • Disqualifying Crimes

    CDHS provides the results of the background checks in a statement that indicates whether the child care employee is eligible or ineligible for employment within a licensed child care facility, without revealing specific disqualifying information. If the employee is ineligible, the department will provide information about each disqualifying crime to the employee.

    View disqualification criteria.

  • Individuals No Longer Employed at a Facility or Residing in a Child Care Home

    Future arrest information is received until the facility completes a Name/Flag Removal Form.

    Name/Flag Removal Forms must be filled out, signed and sent to the BIU when the employee resigns or is terminated, the facility closes, or a person living in the home moves out. 

    The BIU determines if a person’s background information meets the Child Care Licensing Act criteria or does not meet the criteria for the background check. As a child care facility owner or employee, you may be asked to submit forms regarding the background check results to the BIU, to the Licensing Specialist or to a representative of CDHS. It is the owner/employee’s responsibility to keep copies of these documents.

Questions? Contact the Background Investigation Unit:

Background Investigation Unit
Division of Early Care and Learning, CDHS
1575 Sherman Street, 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 1-800-799-5879
Fax: 303-866-5340

Criminal Background Investigation Checks:  

Background Inquiry Checks: