Child care centers around Colorado have until next month to make major changes before they put their license on the line.
The changes, approved by the Colorado Board of Human Services, began back in 2010, before a final approval this year.
The new changes to licensing requirement begin Feb. 1 and include bans on things like sugary drinks and TV time for kids under 2 years of age.
Kathryn Harris, the president at Qualistar Colorado, a nonprofit that backed the changes, said child care providers are responsible for being a positive influence on kids.
“They need to be focused not only on the safety of our children but also the learning the development of our children,” she said.
The new rules require further training for child care providers and at least an hour of physical activity for preschool age and older children for full day programs. Younger children are required outdoor play at least three times a week. Only two servings of fruit juices will be allowed at centers per week.
Harris said the changes affect some 2,000 centers and nearly 100,000 kids around the state. Home child care centers will not affected by the changes.
Jeremy Gonzales, who directs and owns Daddy Mom Day Care said they’ve already been implementing some of the changes.
“It is taking a lot more effort from us,” he said, “we have to go shopping now -- it’s more fresh fruit, whatever is more in season."
He added that they plan on using fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden for the kids to incorporate into their snack times.
“We’re not only feeding the kids better, but were exposing them to a better health and nutrition lifestyle,” he said.
Parents are allowed to send their children with the drink of their choice even if they go against the center’s nutritional standards.