Your Needs

Things To Think About

First consider the types of care available:

Unlicensed, unregulated care means that there are no requirements about things such as background checks; classes in safety, first aid, and CPR; and other aspects that ensure quality.

Family-Friend-Neighbor (FFN) care is provided in your home or theirs, and can be affordable and convenient. Depending on the person providing the care, it can also be high-quality. Keep in mind that it is illegal for a caregiver to provide care for children from more than one family not related to her, however.

Babysitters and nannies are hired by you to provide care, usually in your home. You decide the qualifications, hours, and pay.


Licensed, regulated options guarantee that the provider has met and continues to meet the standards set by the State of Colorado.

Family Child Care Homes vary according to the type of license the provider has, and can be less-expensive, more convenient, and more home-like than child care centers. There are other, very important things to consider before choosing this type of care.

Child Care Centers or Preschools also vary but are generally similar to a school-type setting (depending on the age of the children), and children are often grouped by age. Click here for pros and cons of this type of child care.

Next consider the things that are individual to your family and child:

Days and times you need care (you may find that a variety of types of care will fit your needs best)

Religious affiliation of the provider

Cultural and linguistic considerations important to your family


The philosophy of the program, which includes things like the values they promote; the curriculum used; their approach to social-emotional and behavioral learning; whether they promote healthy eating and activity; and how they welcome and work with parents. You’ll find more information about many of these factors in the next section, Parent Resources and Information.

The personality and experiences of your child, includes things like whether or not he or she has been in groups of children, her personal style, interest in other kids, tolerance for noise and commotion, communication skills, and activity level. Your child’s happiness will depend on your choice as well as the caregiver’s ability to adapt her approach to meet your child’s style. Click here for some guidelines to match your child’s style with a child care setting.