Find Child Care

  • Search for Colorado Shines Quality Rated Programs

    Colorado Shines is a quality rating and improvement system for Colorado's licensed early care and learning programs. Colorado Shines rates early learning programs and connects families with quality child care and preschool programs. It measures quality based on how a program supports its children, families and professionals. This free search tool allows families to search for early childhood programs utilizing information such as location, hours, licensing, and the Colorado Shines quality rating.

    Search for quality child care and find tips on how to select care.

    Look for the Colorado Shines logo to identify licensed and quality early care and learning programs.

  • Contact A Child Care Resource & Referral Agency

    Child Care Resource and Referral agencies work to connect you with quality early learning programs, like child care and preschool, valuable local resources, and tips for choosing a child care facility.

    For assistance in finding quality child care, call the Colorado Shines Child Care Referral Line at Mile High United Way at 877-338-2273 (CARE). A trained referral specialist will help you locate programs specific to your needs.

  • View Child Care Facility Licensing History

    The Colorado Child Care Facility Search allows you to look up child care facilities throughout Colorado. You can search for child care facilities by address, zip code, county or city, as well as by provider name, telephone, or license number. You can also view detailed reports of each child care provider and request an email or in-person file review for up to five providers by calling 303-866-6029 or emailing cdhs_oec_pbfr@state.co.us.

    Complaints and Inspections

    A complaint investigation of alleged licensing violations is made as it relates to the operations and conduct of the facility based on licensing rules. The Division of Child Care does not investigate financial, contractor, or other issues unrelated to state licensing rules.

    View the six severity levels of complaints.

    View the different types of licensing inspections.

    Look for this logo to identify licensed early care and learning programs.

  • Financial Assistance
    Financial assistance is available to families who may not be able to afford quality child care or preschool. The resources on this page will help you learn more about the programs and help you to see if you qualify for aid.
     
    Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP)
    Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood offers child care subsidies for families who need help affording quality child care. Learn more about the program and how to apply for assistance.

    Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)
    The Colorado Preschool Program is a state-funded early childhood education program administered by the Colorado Department of Education. Children who are eligible for CPP have the opportunity to attend half-day or full-day preschool or full-day kindergarten at a reduced cost.

    Denver Preschool Program (DPP)
    The Denver Preschool Program helps eligible Denver families pay for high-quality preschool. To qualify, families must reside in the City and County of Denver and have a four-year old child enrolled at a participating program and in their last year of preschool before kindergarten.

    Head Start/Early Head Start Program
    Head Start promotes school readiness for children from low-income families. From birth to age five, Head Start provides children a learning environment that enhances their cognitive, social and emotional development.
  • Health and Safety Requirements for Licensed Child Care Facilities
    The Division of Early Care and Learning is committed to the health and safety of children in licensed early care and learning settings. Learn more about health and safety requirements.

    Social, Emotional and Behavioral Policies for Licensed Child Care Facilities

    Licensed Child Care Centers must have policies in place regarding guidance, positive instruction, supporting positive child behavior, and discipline and consequences. These policies must identify how the Child Care Center will:

    • Access an early childhood mental health consultant or other specialist, as needed.
    • Create and maintain a socially and emotionally respectful early learning and care environment.
    • Cultivate positive child, staff and family relationships.
    • Implement teaching strategies supporting positive behavior, pro-social peer interaction, and overall social and emotional competence in young children.
    • Provide individualized social and emotional intervention supports for children who need them, including methods for understanding child behavior and developing, adopting, and implementing a team-based positive behavior support plan with the intent to reduce challenging behavior and prevent suspensions and expulsions.

    Child Care centers must also have policies in place defining how decisions are made and what steps are taken prior to the suspension, expulsion or request to parents or guardians to withdraw a child from care due to concerns about the child's behavioral issues. Procedures must be consistent with the center's policy on guidance, positive instruction, discipline and consequences, and include documentation of the steps taken to understand and respond to challenging behavior. Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists can be part of the team that works together with programs to improve social and emotional environments and relationships, and support children who are exhibiting challenging behavior.
     

    Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Safe Sleep Practice Requirements 

    Licensed child care facilities that care for children ages 0 to 2 years old must follow all safe sleep requirements at all times. Talk with your child care provider regarding the importance of maintaining safe sleep practices for your child. Child Care provider safe sleep requirements include:

    • Infant must be placed in an approved crib, on his or her back to sleep.
    • Infants must be supervised and physically checked frequently while sleeping.
    • Infants must be placed to sleep in an approved crib (centers and family child care homes) or pack and play (family child care homes only) with a clean, firm, snug-fitting mattress which is manufactured for the specific equipment being used. The equipment must be safe, sturdy and free from hazards. Drop side cribs are prohibited.
    • The sleep equipment must have fitted sheet. The sheet must not be so tight that the corners of the mattress pull up or so loose that the sheet gathers or bunches.
    • Soft bedding that could pose a suffocation hazard is not allowed in the sleep environment including, but not limited to: bumper pads, pillow, blanket, quilt, sleep positioning device; flat sheet, bib, plush toys and stuffed animals. 
    • Infants who fall asleep in/on equipment not approved for sleep must be moved to an approved sleep environment immediately. 
    • Swaddling is allowed only with a health care plan completed and signed by the child’s physician. Use of sleep sacks which double as swaddling devices are not allowed. 
    • There should be no blanket or other material which covers or drapes over the sleeping equipment. Mobiles or other types of play equipment that attach to any part of the sleep equipment are not allowed.
    • There should be nothing that covers the infants head and face.
    • The room temperature must be comfortable so the infant does not overheat.

    The Division of Early Care and Learning will now notify parents of safe sleep violations observed during annual inspections of their child care facility. If you see any violations of safe sleep requirements in your child's facility, call the Office of Early Childhood at 303-866-5958 to file a complaint.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics offers recommendations for sleep safety at home. More information on safe sleep can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Children’s Hospital Colorado websites. 

  • Legally Exempt Child Care Facilities
    Colorado's Child Care Licensing Act allows certain child care facilities to be exempt from licensing requirements. Learn more about legal exemptions.
     
  • File a Complaint with the Division of Early Care and Learning

    To make a complaint, call 303-866-5958 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If calling outside of business hours, you may leave a message. Provide your name, telephone number and mailing address. This information is required for the following reasons:

    • To call you back if the investigator needs more specific information about the complaint,
    • To call you back if the investigator received contradictory or unclear information during the investigation, and
    • To call you to let you know the results of the investigation.

    A witness or someone who has first-hand knowledge of the abuse must make the complaint. An anonymous complaint can be made only if the complaint is about an unlicensed child care provider.

    All information is kept confidential about parents and children in care. The facility will never know who made the complaint.

    Call 911 immediately if you witness a child in a life-threatening situation.

    Report Child Abuse or Neglect - 24/7 Hotline: 
    Call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (844-264-5437)

    Report Suspected Unlicensed Child Care: Call 303-866-5958

    Report Alcohol or Drug Abuse

    If the provider is currently under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the provider's ability to care for children is impaired, please follow these steps:

    • Call the police. Write down the name of the person you speak with.
    • Call the Division of Early Care and Learning at 303-866-5958.
    • Be prepared to give the following information:
      • Your name, phone number and mailing address
      • The Licensee's name, phone number and address
      • Where the incident occurred
      • Brief description about the incident/circumstances
  • View Child Care Facility Closures

    Recent Closures

    Balinda Price - Family Child Care Home  
    6645 Saulsbury Street
    Arvada, CO 80003
    Date of Closure: April 5, 2017

    Buttercups Learning Center - Child Care Center
    10700 Pecos Street
    Northglenn, CO 80234
    Date of Closure: July 20, 2017

    Stephanie Hill - Family Child Care Home
    1186 Rosemary Street
    Denver, CO 80220
    Date of Closure: June 16, 2017

    Find a New Child Care Facility

    The Office of Early Childhood promotes and encourages child care in licensed facilities that contribute to the safety, health, protection and well-being of children.

    Search Online or Call a Referral Agency

    Review the Licensing History of Child Care Facilities

    Find a New Provider Accepting Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP)

    File a Complaint and Report Violations

    • Call 911 immediately if you witness a child in a life-threatening situation.
    • Call 1-844-CO-4-Kids or 1-844-264-5437 to report all concerns of child abuse and neglect.
    • Call 303-866-5958 to file a complaint with the Division of Early Care and Learning.