Families & Informal Caregivers


Supporting All Who Care for Colorado’s Kids

Resources, activities, and ideas for families and informal caregivers

When children come first, all child care can be high-quality care no matter the setting. What high-quality care looks like: 

  • Children are safe 
  • Relationships between the caregiver and children are strong and loving 
  • There is lots of back-and-forth interaction 

Many families rely on informal child care, provided by a family member, friend or neighbor, because it is convenient, affordable and available where and when they need it. 

Informal caregivers sometimes feel isolated — but you are not alone! Our community supports and values informal child care, and we want to do all we can to support families and caregivers. 

Explore this page to find resources and great ideas for families and caregivers to support children’s learning and development in the critical early years. 

If you aren’t finding what you need, contact us at info@denverearlychildhood.org.


Classes & Support for Informal Caregivers

The Mental Health Center of Denver offers counseling and other services for babies, children and families. Call the MHCD Access Line for therapy services at 303-504-7900 or visit their website

Non-licensed child care providers can also get training and coaching to help them support children’s healthy development and social-emotional learning. 

Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 support center is the best way to find out about what’s available in your community. Just dial 2-1-1 and tell the navigator that you are looking for free training and resources to support informal, unlicensed child care providers. Or click the button below to explore the 2-1-1 resource database yourself.


Colorado’s Early Learning & Development Guidelines

Expert information that describes a child’s learning and development from birth to age 8. Find tips, activities, videos and downloads with family-friendly information about child development and milestones at every age: 

0-4 months | 4-8 months | 9-18 months | 16-26 months | 3-5 years | 6-8 years


Screen Time Recommendations 

Screen time is a reality of our lives today more than ever. 

DON’T feel guilty about it. We’re all doing our best.

DO pick high-quality content that is suitable for your child’s age. 

Check out videos 4 and 5 on this page for ideas to use screen time to build connection and spark creativity! 

Click the button below for a downloadable tip sheet with our screen time recommendations and creative ideas.


Create Routines for Learning and Connection 

Creating a predictable and consistent routine is a great way to build strong connections with children. The day may not be fully structured, but it’s important to have a few activities that are predictable, such as:  

  • Morning meeting 
  • Mealtimes 
  • Outside play 
  • Bedtime story 

Visual schedules that show daily activities with pictures are great for young children. No printer? No problem! Just draw stick figures on a visual schedule and tape it to the wall.

Resources: 

  • Read how routines help children learn self-control, stay safe, avoid power struggles, build social skills, and more. From ZERO TO THREE
  • Get simple, fun ideas to help you support learning during everyday  activities like going to the grocery store. From Sesame Street in Communities    

Minimal Supervision, Screen-Free Activities 

If you are trying to get kids away from screens, it helps to have some fun and creative ideas. 

Here’s a list of songs every adult can sing — 50 classic songs you probably know well! 

Work together in the kitchen to create gak, slime or playdough with these easy recipes. Then let children play with their own creations!