Choosing Quality Child Care

Quality Early Education Matters

Choosing quality child care is one of the most important parenting decisions you’ll ever make. Good early childhood development, a product of healthy, nurturing family and early education environments, promotes healthy social and emotional development, and leads to success in school and life. Not only is your child’s future well-being dependent on good early childhood development, but your peace of mind and ability to concentrate at work depend on knowing your child is in nurturing, safe, healthy care.

Child Care Referrals

Most experts recommend that you begin your search at least 6 months before you’ll need care, especially in our area. Child care referrals are now available through Mile High United Way’s Child Care Options by calling 1-877-338-2273. A Child Care Referral Specialist will spend 20 – 30 minutes talking with you about finding child care that fits your family’s individual needs. After gathering this information from you she will search a database to find several licensed child care providers in your area that might match your needs. She will also offer some consumer education and tips about choosing high quality care. It’s important to note that these are referrals, not recommendations. This service is free and is available Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. You can learn more by visiting the Mile High United Way website.
Colorado Shines offers an online search tool 24/7 but there are not as many variables to list for a helpful search. In addition, you’ll find the For Families section of the Colorado Shines website has helpful resources for your search, including an explanation of the quality rating system used to rate programs; a step-by-step guide to using their online data base; and the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines. Click here to find a helpful CO Shines Tip Sheet to use in your search.
The following pages of our website summarize some of that information for you and include other ideas that might help you make a wise decision.