The voice of Denver’s early childhood community

Denver’s Early Childhood Council is dedicated to facilitating a strong and seamless early childhood system to meet the needs of the youngest Denver children and their families.

Working in broad partnership across state and county agencies, along with nonprofit partners and local business leaders, Denver’s Early Childhood Council advances an accessible and effective early childhood system with children and families at the center.

By “connecting the dots” between various agencies and implementers, our work makes local early childhood services easier for families to navigate and access.

Denver’s Early Childhood Council is the leading source of training, support, and information for early childhood professionals and licensed child care programs in the City and County of Denver.

Child care is essential work

We are committed to advocating for the essential – and too often undervalued – work of early childhood educators. The professionals that care for and educate our youngest children play a vital role in supporting our economy, parents, and most importantly, the healthy development of children.

What we can speak to

Our team can address the challenges and opportunities facing child care providers in Denver as the pandemic continues to significantly impact the staffing and operations of licensed child care programs.

Specifically, the pandemic has increased the cost of providing child care, while at the same time across-the-board shortages of qualified early childhood teachers limit the number of children that programs can enroll. In some cases, the waitlists that families encounter when seeking care are a direct result of these staffing shortages.

If you are a member of the media and are looking for the perspective of the child care community in Denver, we welcome your inquiries. Please contact Cami Harris, Director of Communications, at or 720-644-2573.

Child Care in Denver

These stats offer a snapshot of the child care landscape in Denver County, Colorado.


Children Under Age 5

Living in Denver County.


Licensed Child Care Programs

Providing care for children 5 and under.


Growing Demand

The population of children under 4 in Colorado will increase by 2026.

Featured Media Coverage

Highlights of recent press coverage of Denver’s Early Childhood Council.

Denverite: Multi-year waitlists, tuition as expensive as a second mortgage: Denver is in a child care crisis

March 25, 2022

Parents, early childhood educators, advocates, and child care center directors agree: working families are struggling to find and pay for quality child care. A silver lining of the pandemic is that recognition of the need for public investment is growing.

9News: The problem of finding child care goes deeper than the pandemic's impact

January 27, 2022

Finding child care is hard right now; so is finding and keeping staff in child care centers. The pandemic has drawn attention to inequity issues that were already there.

CBS4 Denver: Why Having Your Toddler Wear A Face Mask Could Make A Big Difference

August 17, 2021

Medical experts and education leaders agree that masking for young children is required to keep schools and child care centers operating as the Delta surge of the coronavirus pandemic continues.

NPR: How Child Care Programs Can Safely Reopen

July 5, 2020

National Public Radio reporter Scott Detrow spoke to Lucy Mullen Davis about the guidelines centers — and parents — are considering before reopening amid the pandemic.

Vox: Fighting for the Survival of Child Care Businesses

May 19, 2020

Even as they weigh the risks of reopening, Vox reports that the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to put many child care centers out of business.

More News From Denver's Early Childhood Council

April 22, 2021 – Denver’s Early Childhood Council, in partnership with the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County and Joint Initiatives/Alliance for Kids has been awarded an Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grant  to develop an “Essential Career Navigation Roadmap for Early Childhood Educators.” Read more here.

October 22, 2020 – City of Denver initiates the release of the third round of funding includes $12.6 million for continued shelter, economic relief, and child care services. Read more here.

February 4, 2020 – Denver’s Early Childhood Council welcomes new Chief Program Officer Megan Bock. Read more here

April 23, 2019 – Denver’s Early Childhood Council one of 5 grantees selected for 2019 Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grants to Stimulate Colorado’s Early Childhood Workforce. Read more here.

February 13, 2019 – Support for licensed centers, licensed family home care programs and families during Denver teachers strike. Read more here

May 1, 2018 – Denver’s Early Childhood Council and Partners Receive $250,000 Early Childhood Workforce Innovation Grant – New pilot program addresses systemic improvement of recruitment, retention and compensation for teachers of youngest Coloradans. Read more here.

April 24, 2018 – Denver to Prioritize a Strong Start for Babies and Toddlers – Leading National Groups Announce Selection of Communities across the Country to Focus on Healthy Beginnings, Supported Families and Quality Child Care from Birth to Age 3. Read more here. 

Media Contact

Please direct all media inquiries to Cami Harris, Senior Communications Manager at or (720) 644-2573.