Resources for Colorado Families With Young Children 

No-cost programs to help families find child care and other support for children birth to age 8

All families need support to raise happy, healthy children.

Caring for young children is a huge responsibility! And we don’t always know where to turn to find child care we can trust, or answers to questions about how our child is growing and developing.  Luckily there are high-quality, confidential, and no-cost resources to help families like yours – so you can know you’re doing everything possible to support your child’s success.


Looking for child care?

  • Learn about the different types of child care.
  • Search online for licensed child care programs.
  • Connect with a child care navigator.
  • See if you qualify for help to pay for child care.

Do you have concerns about your child?

  • A no-cost evaluation will tell you if your child needs extra support or if they are right on track.
  • Learn how to positively address challenging behaviors and understand the meaning behind them.

Want to learn more about your child’s development?

  • Explore how children learn and develop, birth through age 8.
  • Find activities to turn everyday moments into fun brain-building opportunities.
  • Discover videos and online guides, organized by your child’s age.

Find quality child care


Colorado has a free search tool to help families find and research quality, licensed child care programs.

You can also call the Colorado Shines Child Care Resource and Referral phone line at 877.338.2273 to talk to an expert who can help.

Types of child care

Types of child care

Licensed child care programs are monitored by the State of Colorado monitors to ensure the health and safety of the children who attend. All licensed child care providers and their staff  are background checked and trained in key safety topics.

Some families prefer care provided by family, friends, neighbors, nannies or babysitters. This option can also be safe and high-quality. This type of child care is exempt from state licensing rules as long as it follows Colorado law. Learn more about that here.

No matter what kind of care you choose, it’s important to visit, observe, and talk to the person who will care for your child. Use these checklists to help make sure your child will be in a safe and nurturing environment while you are away:

Need support paying for child care?

Child care is hard for many families to afford. Luckily, support is available. Learn if your family qualifies for the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). In addition to CCCAP, families may be eligible for programs like Universal Preschool Colorado or Head Start.

learn about child development

Learning begins at birth! With the right tools, families can support their children’s healthy development and help establish a strong foundation for lifelong success.

Colorado’s Early Learning and Development Guidelines (ELDG) provide tips and activities to help you turn everyday moments into fun, brain-building opportunities.

Explore videos about early learning and development and download the PLAYbook, which is full of activities to support healthy development, birth through age 8.

Find tips and learning activities that you can make part of your daily routine!

Are You Concerned About Your Child?

Acting early to give kids the extra support they may need will help ensure they have a strong foundation to succeed in school and in life.

If you or someone else has a concern or question about your child’s development, an Early Intervention Colorado evaluation will tell you if your child needs some extra support or if they are right on track.

Evaluation and services for eligible children are offered at no cost to families.

Understand the meaning Behind your child’s behavior

A child’s behavior is a message about what they need, and sometimes we need help understanding the meaning behind a child’s behavior.

The Early Childhood Mental Health Support Line is a no-cost, confidential resource for anyone who cares for children under age 6.

The support line helps adults to better understand and support young children. Trained consultants will help you access the support your family may need.

Support social-emotional development

Parents and other caregivers play a key role in helping children develop social-emotional skills such as making friends, caring for others and managing their emotions.

Helping children to develop these skills reduces challenging behavior, helps build stronger relationships between children and adults, and supports early mental health.

Check out these tip sheets by child age with everyday activities you can use to support your child to learn important social-emotional skills.

Preventing early childhood suspensions and expulsions

When young children are suspended or expelled, they miss out on learning experiences that are important to help them prepare for success in school and life.

Many studies find that suspension and expulsion at a young age do not support healthy development. But when providers and families respond to confusing or concerning behaviors in a positive way, children are more likely to learn new skills and do better next time.

If you are concerned your child may be suspended or expelled (or if that has already happened), click below for information on what you can do to support your child.