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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Look for this logo to identify licensed early care and learning programs.
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.
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 ClosuresBalinda 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
- Colorado Shines is a free online search tool for parents looking for child care facilities or preschools in their community.
- For free referral and education services, call 1-877-338-CARE (2273).
- View tips for finding quality care in your community.
Review the Licensing History of Child Care Facilities
The Colorado Child Care Facility Search provides reports of inspection to help inform parents and caregivers as they select a child care facility.
Find a New Provider Accepting Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP)
If you are currently utilizing CCCAP, contact your county department of human/social services to arrange child care with a new provider accepting 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.