Farm camps can be a great way to open children’s eyes to plants, animals, and insects, and help them understand where our food comes from and how it grows.
To keep children healthy and safe at camp, including farm camps, Colorado regulations require that they be licensed. Licensing helps ensure that the environment is safe and staff is appropriately trained.
At minimum, farm camps should have the following priority health and safety practices in place:
Child Care Staff
- Child care staff at least 18 years of age or older who have passed a background check.
- Child care staff with training in the following areas:
- Hygiene and sanitation practices
- Safety regulations
- Emergency procedures
- First aid/CPR
- Behavior management techniques
- Child abuse prevention
- Appropriate staff and camper behavior
- Appropriate staff-to-child ratios.
Supervision & Safety of Children
- Children are well-supervised around animals and farm equipment.
- Children’s activities and materials are well-supervised and safe.
Restroom & Handwashing Facilities
- Available restrooms and handwash sinks are supplied with soap and paper towels that are kept clean.
Food & Drinking Water
- Ample, safe, and potable drinking water.
- Children never consume or have contact with raw milk or raw milk products.
- Washing and preparation of fresh fruits and vegetables:
- Children and staff have washed hands with running potable water and soap before picking and handling fresh produce.
- Staff has inspected produce for obvious signs of soil or damage prior to cutting, slicing, or dicing.
- Produce is washed with continuous running potable water before being served or cut.
- All equipment, utensils, and food surfaces that came into contact with produce have been washed, rinsed, sanitized, and air-dried before use.
Staff and children who have washed hands thoroughly with soap and running, potable, water at these times:
- Before handling, preparing, or eating food
- After using the restrooms
- After touching or caring for animals
- After handling bodily fluids, coughing, or sneezing
- After working in the garden
- Any time hands become soiled or otherwise contaminated
A plan for medical and other types of emergencies is in place.
For Parents & Guardians
Before enrolling your children in a farm camp, ask the owner these questions:
- Is your program licensed by the State of Colorado, Department of Human Services?
- Are the priority health and safety items listed above in place?
For a complete list of child care, safety, and health regulations, please refer to the following.
- Colorado Office of Early Childhood at 303-866-5958
- Colorado Office of Early Childhood – Child Care Licensing
- Child Health Promotion (CHP) Program
- Food Safety Program
For Farm Owners
Before operating any type of farm camp or classes for children, contact Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Department of Human Services at 303-866-5958 to find out about licensing requirements and guidelines.
Due to the nature of farm camp activities and the developmental needs of young children, farm camps and classes are best suited for children at least 5 years of age or older.