Find Child Care for Babies or Toddlers

The brains of babies and toddlers are growing fast, and quality child care prepares them for success in school and beyond.

Free & Personalized Support for Your Child Care Search

If you need help finding child care contact a child care navigator through the Colorado Shines Child Care Resource and Referral Line.

Call 877.338.2273 or email

High-Quality Child Care in a Family Home

Licensed family child care homes are a great option for families looking for more flexible hours, mixed age groups (so siblings can stay together), and a calmer environment.

Learn more about this child care option and find a program near you.

Is Your Provider Required to Have a License?

Some Colorado families choose a licensed child care program. Many other families opt for license-exempt care provided by a family member, friend, or neighbor (FFN), which can also be high-quality. 

No matter what kind of child care you choose, all child care situations – even informal nanny shares – must follow state licensing rules.  

Click below to find out if your child’s provider is required to have a child care license


Safe Child Care Checklist 

Once you’ve decided that a child care program or provider seems like a good fit for your family, it’s important to visit in person.

Download and print the child care checklist for the most important things to look for when you visit and questions to ask the provider. 

Need Help Paying for Child Care?

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) helps families afford quality child care and reduce the amount they pay for their child’s care.

CCCAP supports parents who are working, looking for work, or attending school.

Find out if you are eligible and how to apply. 


Research Child Care Programs

Search online through Colorado Shines for licensed child care programs in your community.

The Colorado Shines website also provides families with detailed reports and safety information on every licensed program in the state.

Your Child Care Options

Friend, Family or Neighbor Care (FFN)

FFN care is not licensed but can also be high-quality. Families trust FFN providers to meet the needs of their child and care is provided in the child’s home, or the home of the caregiver.

Family Child Care Homes 

Licensed child care programs that are located in a family home. These programs provide care for more than four children on a regular basis. Licensed child care family homes are monitored for health and safety by the State.


Child Care Centers

Licensed centers group children by age. Centers are larger and have more children enrolled. Centers have a director and multiple staff. Licensed centers are monitored for health and safety by the State.

Early Head Start

Early Head Start programs serve children, age 0 to 3, from lower income families. Programs may be located in centers, schools, or family homes. These programs must meet federal standards for health and safety.

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We are committed to continuing to improve the support we provide to families, and we welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have.