Quality child care prepares children for success!

The brains of babies and toddlers are growing fast!

That’s why it’s important for babies and toddlers to spend time with caring adults who help them learn and explore safely.

Need Help Finding Care for an Infant or Toddler?

Free, personalized support from a child care navigator through the Colorado Shines Child Care Resource and Referral Line.

Call 877.338.2273 or email childcarereferrals@unitedwaydenver.org

Safe Child Care Checklist 

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

Download and print the child care checklist for a list of the most important things to look for in a child care program or provider and questions to ask. 

Get the safe child care checklist 

Looking for Preschool?

Every Colorado child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten can receive a minimum of 15 hours per week of funded preschool.

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. 


Search for Child Care Programs

Find licensed child care programs that care for infants and toddlers in your community.

Your Child Care Options

Child Care Centers

Licensed centers group children by age, 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.

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.

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.

Head Start & Early Head Start

Early Head Start (0-3 years) and Head Start (3-5 years) programs serve children from lower income families. Programs may be located in centers, schools, or family homes. These programs must meet federal standards for health and safety.

Preschool in a Public School

Many, but not all, elementary schools in Colorado have a preschool program that serves children ages 3-4. In Jeffco, a child can attend preschool at any school in the district by participating in a lottery system (Enroll Jeffco). 

Is Your Provider Required to Have a License?

Some Colorado families choose a licensed child care program while others opt for license-exempt care provided by a family member, friend, or neighbor (FFN). 

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

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