Starting your own ECE Program

Completing pre-licensing training is the first step to becoming a child care provider. If you want to start your own child care business, Denver’s Early Childhood Council and other organizations offer the classes you will need to get started. We provide one-on-one navigation services so that you can understand the process, become licensed, and maintain your license from year to year.

The Pre-licensing toolkit

You don’t have to start from scratch! Ensure success from the beginning by downloading these helpful FREE guides, checklists, and templates before opening your child care center.

Pre-licensing funding resources

Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers assistance programs for women, minorities, veterans, and others. They focus on both small businesses and entrepreneurs. Get help from the Leading Edge program, learn about free government grants or loan programs, free coaching and consulting services, and more. They work with SBA, Well Fargo, non-profits, and other corporations. Learn more

Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center

The Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center helps Denver businesses that are owned by a low-income person, or someone with poor capital and/or who needs access to capital. They focus on Latino/Latinx owners, other minorities, and women, in particular those in lower income areas. They offer interest free loans (in partnership with Kiva) to business plan development, a free resource center, licensing and permitting help, and more. Learn more

Latino Leadership Institute

Latino Leadership Institute has a number of programs for businesses owned by people of color, including a Latino Business Accelerator program. They help set up the legal structure, provide marketing advice, help facilitate access to capital (loans or grants), and more. Existing businesses and entrepreneurs can use the non-profit Institute. Learn more

The Commons on Champa

The Commons on Champa is a program managed and operated by the Downtown Denver Partnership, and is comprised of volunteers, mentors, and donors that help Denver entrepreneurs, start-ups, and micro-businesses business with the following resources: free and low-cost co-working spaces, networking opportunities, mentorship sessions, business workshops, postings on various grant and loan programs, and more. LEARN MORE


ENERGIZE Colorado has funds for BIPOC-owned small businesses. Any business owned by people of color can investigate financial assistance programs offered by the non-profit. The organization partners with the Colorado Office of Economic Development to provide grants, loans and more. Learn more

Fort Collins BIPOC Alliance

Fort Collins BIPOC Alliance offers programs such as Wealth in Numbers (WIN). The goal of the non-profit is to help businesses owned by minorities/people of color to start or grow.  Get free mentoring, training, fundraising assistance from bank loans or grants, as well as other business support. Learn more

Business Incubator Center

Business Incubator Center serves businesses in the Grand Junction, Colorado area. A variety of services are offered, including a Business Loan Fund (BLF), Incubator, business accelerator programs, co-working spaces, free workshops, mentoring services and more. Their focus is on veteran, Black or Latina women-owned businesses, and other underserved individuals in the community. Learn more

Minority Business Office of Colorado

Minority Business Office of Colorado (MBO), is an organization made up of volunteers, corporations, and non-profits that help minority, women, and veteran owned businesses. They offer a list of grants and provide ongoing support including online tools, counseling, coaching services, and even help with publicity or marketing. Learn more

Prairie Rose Development Corporation

Prairie Rose Development Corporation is a non-profit small business and startup lender that covers all of Colorado. Qualified applicants can borrow about $15,000 at zero percent interest rates, and the funding is offered in partnership with Kiva. They support underserved small business owners, including people of color, women, LGBTQ, and disabled owners among others. Mentoring, loans, and financial aid are offered. Learn more

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute has assistance programs for disadvantaged businesses, including minority, women, LGTBQ, veterans, and others. Get help applying for loans or grants from Capital Meets Capacity, guidance and support from Whole Entrepreneur Support, and other programs. LEARN MORE

Upcoming Pre-licensing training opportunities

Create an account on Colorado’s PDIS (Professional Development Information System) to find upcoming trainings.

Colorado Child Care Licensing & Administration

General or specific questions about licensing requirements or obtaining a license can be directed to the Child Care Licensing and Administration Unit at the Colorado Department of Early Childhood. Call them at 1-800-799-5876 or 303-866-5948 or email