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Types of Child Care

child in class

Family Child Care Homes

In a family child care home, providers care for small groups of children in a residencial building. Often this type of care has one or two caregivers and may offer non-traditional hours. Click here to lear more!

Mother & Child Shooting Arrows

Child Care Centers

Child care centers are generally operated out of a non residential, commercial buildings. Centers are larger and enroll more children with a dedicated director and numerous staff members. Click Here to Learn More!

Kids in Vegetable Farm

Family, Friend and Neighbor Care

FFN is provided in the child or caregiver's home by a person who is relative, friend or neighbor or a babysitter or nanny. Click Here to Learn More!

Smiling girls sitting at table in elementary class

Preschool Programs

Preschool Programs are typically offered for children ages 3-5 years old. Preschool programs may be offered through a school, faith-based organization, non-profit and child care centers. Click Here to Learn More!

Biology Drawing Class

School Age Programs

School age programs typically provide child care during the before - and after- school hours. They may also offer care during school holidays and summer break. Click Here to Learn More!

Search for Colorado Shines Quality Rated Programs

Colorado Shines is a quality rating and improvement system for Colorado's licensed early care and learning programs. Colorado Shines rates early learning programs and connects families with quality child care and preschool programs. It measures quality based on how a program supports its children, families and professionals.

A Colorado Shines rating (Levels 1-5) gives parents peace of mind. The Colorado Shines rating means that the program is licensed, in good standing with the state, meets health and safety standards, and is regularly monitored.


Programs with higher ratings (Levels 3-5) have completed a process to show quality programs and practice in all areas that Colorado Shines reviews (see bullet list below).


Colorado Shines rates the quality of Colorado’s child care and preschool programs for children ages 0-5, based on how well each program.

  • Supports children’s health and safety.

  • Ensures the staff are well-trained and effective.

  • Provides a supportive learning environment that teaches children new skills.

  • Helps parents become partners in their child’s learning.

  • Demonstrates good leadership and business practices.

Once a program receives a rating, Colorado Shines provides support to help the program continue to improve its quality.


This free search tool allows families to search for early childhood programs utilizing information such as location, hours, licensing, and the Colorado Shines quality rating. Additional information about Colorado Shines and Universal Preschool is coming soon.

Search for quality child care and find tips on how to select care.

Look for the Colorado Shines logo to identify licensed and quality early care and learning programs.

Click Here to Learn More!

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