Child Care

Looking for child care, preschool or school-age options for your child?

Choosing the right option for your child is an important decision. There are different types of child care programs to choose from and finding one that suits both your needs as a parent and the needs of your child may seem overwhelming. There are many resources available in Colorado to help you.

Availability, cost, location, and type of care will factor into your decision, but most importantly, you need a child care program where your child will be safe, will thrive and will receive quality, responsive caregiving.

Receive a personalized referral from our partner agency Colorado Shines Childcare Referral at Mile High United Way. The Child Care Navigators at the Mile High United Way 2-1-1 Help Center offer free, confidential, and multilingual referrals to licensed child care providers based on your needs. They also provide education on how to recognize quality care. Contact them at 877-338-CARE (2273), by email at or by live chat Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Conduct an online search for child care at Colorado Shines is the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). It provides information on why quality matters, the differences between various types of programs, tips and checklists, and much more in the For Families section of the Colorado Shines website.

Parents are strongly encouraged to tour programs under consideration, and to ask questions! You should also request references from other parents, and review the licensing reports of inspection available in the View Details section of a program information in Colorado Shines.

Financial assistance for child care

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program offers financial assistance to eligible families who need help affording quality child care for children age birth through 12. The Boulder County Child Care Assistance Program administers the program for Boulder County. View eligibility requirements and apply at

The City of Boulder’s Child Care Subsidy (CCS) program provides financial assistance to qualifying low-income families who reside in the City of Boulder and are not eligible for Boulder County Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Visit their website to learn more.

To file a complaint

Call 911 immediately if you witness a child in a life-threatening situation. To report child abuse or neglect call the 24/7 hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (844-264-5437).

To make a complaint about a licensed or unlicensed program, 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. Visit the Division of Early Care and Learning website to learn more.