Finding Child Care

Finding Quality Child Care

Choosing Quality Child Care Matters.

Colorado Shines is your online resource for finding quality child care near you.
  • Visit
    Colorado Shines gives parents and caregivers peace of mind as they search for licensed, quality child care and preschool programs. It offers information including location, hours, licensing status and, most importantly, the Colorado Shines quality rating of eligible programs. By engaging in this free process, families like yours can find the best early learning fit to get your children off to a strong start. Colorado Shines will help you identify elements of high quality child care and the importance of choosing quality. When using the “search” feature, it will ask for your home or work address. However, ONLY enter your ZIP code.
  • Call the Colorado Shines Child Care Resource & Referral Line: 877-338-2273
    This FREE custom referral line is available to help find early care and education providers in El Paso, Teller, and Elbert Counties that meet your family’s needs. Individuals calling this number will be greeted by the Colorado Shines Child Care Referral at Mile High United Way.
  • Text childcarereferrals to 898-211.
  • Mile High United Way now has an Intake Form available for families looking for child care.
  • Early Childhood Question & Observation Worksheet
  • Finding Quality Care Checklist

How to view licensing or rating details:

  • Visit
  • Under For Families, click on How to find quality child care.
  • From the menu on the left, click Search for a Program.
  • In the blue area at the top, enter the program name for the site you area considering and click Search.
  • If the program that appears is the one you are considering, click View Details. For example, some centers have multiple locations (e.g. Kindercare).
  • The screen that appears will provide their license number, Colorado Shines rating, CCCAP acceptance, and much more.

Financial Assistance Programs

Click here to visit the Colorado Shines website and learn more about assistance programs or read more below.

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. CCCAP is a subsidy to help families that are homeless, working, searching for work or in school find low-income child care assistance. Families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program can also use CCCAP services.

Applying for CCCAP

For eligibility and applications, visit the Colorado PEAK website.

Resources for Military Families Seeking Child Care

Military/DoD Child Care Assistance is offered through Child Care Aware.

Child Care Aware® of America serves more than 10,000 military children every year. When child care slots on post are full, military families may access their resources to find child care and receive assistance. Before you begin, learn more about what to look for when choosing child care and the importance of selecting a quality program. To get started, click here to access resources, checklists, and available supports.

Visit the Child Care Aware website for further information or select your branch of service for more information on eligible programs and assistance. Programs include Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) and Operation Military Child Care (OMCC). Click here to learn more about each program.

You may also call Child Care Aware at 1-800-424-2246 and press option #3. You may also email Child Care Aware at They have a list of child care providers and centers that offer military discounts for off-post child care slots. To search for programs online, click here.

Share your story! Military parent experiences with child care may differ from that of civilian experiences, but they are just as impactful! Your stories can help policymakers understand that they need to work to make child care more affordable or that the quality of child care needs to be improved. Your voice makes a difference in the accessibility, quality and affordability of child care. Click here to provide your interest in sharing your story!

Colorado Shines Child Care Resource & Referral Line
  • Families that do not qualify for a military discount should call the Colorado Shines Child Care Resource & Referral Line: 1-877-338-2273

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