Colorado's Proposed Day Care Rules Would Dictate Race of Dolls, Time Between Meals



It's making some cry like a baby.

Day care providers in Colorado may have to meet new rules that would dictate the race of dolls at centers, how much TV kids can watch and time in between meals, making Colorado child care facilities some of the most regulated in the country. 

The changes being proposed by the Colorado Department of Human Services include that dolls at centers should represent three races (which are not specified). TV and computer time would be limited to 20 minutes per day unless it’s a special occasion. In addition, providers must not serve whole milk to children older than 2 years old, only 1 percent, 2 percent or skim milk, and guidelines for eating times are outlined. The proposed rules also require providers and children take at least one physical education class per year and that each child have an assigned caregiver. 

Click here to read the proposed guidelines by the Colorado Department of Human Services.

By comparison, day care regulations in Los Angeles and New York don't stipulate the type of milk served or when kids eat. Colorado's plan of one teacher per student is also stiff compared with a Los Angeles mandate of a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 8. New York City requires one teacher to every four kids. 

Some Colorado day care providers say the stipulations are too harsh and that it will break the bank for them, and they are nervous that managing these new guidelines will take focus off of other issues.

“My time will be taken up with regulating and micro-managing my classroom. … My time is better spent on curriculum and creating resources for special needs children,” an employee at the Montview Community Preschool in Denver told, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Others are not as concerned.

“We think it's wonderful. We think it's great that there are more requirements for children,” Anne Mill from Colonnade Children's Center in Denver told

“I’ve heard other (day care centers) say it will be more expensive for them, but it's just a few more dolls and crayons,” Mill said. “If they can’t meet these standards then that’s too bad, then its not a quality place for kids."

Funding to meet guidelines will not be provided by the state, Liz McDonough, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services, said, but the state will “work with centers” to help them fix any problems. 

McDonough said most day care centers already meet the proposed standards, but the department was asked by the community to create more specific guidelines. The Colorado Department of Human Services will be touring different communities in the area to receive feedback and plan on advising the guidelines based on those suggestions.

Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource Referral Agencies, told that the Colorado Department of Human Services has good intentions, but there are other ways to reach their goals “that are not so arbitrary or rigid that allows for things to change and evolve without regulation.”

“Colorado has serious problems with their regulation of child care centers” she told “Doggie day care centers are inspected every six months while child day care centers are inspected every other year."