Increasing Access to Quality Child Care

Resource and Referral Services provide employees with referrals to available child care providers and help employees evaluate and choose good quality child care. Colorado's child care resource and referral agencies assist employers by conducting assessments of employees’ child care needs and by training managers and supervisors to more effectively implement child care and other work-life programs. Agencies also recruit and train child care providers.

Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood – Colorado’s Resource and Referral Agency


Direct Child Care Services


    • On-Site or Near-Site Child Care Center: An employer develops a new child care center on or near company premises. Employers subsidize the construction and/or operating costs of the center, and it is often run by an outside provider.  Two companies that provide on-site or near-site child care are:
Bright Horizons


    • Partnering with Other Employers: A group of companies in close proximity to one another share the expenses of operating a child care center for their employees. This option is particularly suitable for small companies, downtown businesses, industrial parks, and shopping malls.


    • Family Child Care Network: Family child care is offered for a small number of children in the provider’s own home. Companies can form or fund networks of family child care homes to provide child care for their employees. The employer may also recruit and train providers to meet specific child care needs of their workforce.


    • Back-up or Emergency Care: Employers provide choices for short-term care of employees’ children when regular care arrangements fall through, such as when a provider is sick or during unexpected school closings. Back-up care can be provided on-site or through contracts with providers.


    • Odd Hour Care: Employers provide in-home or center-based care for children during nontraditional hours, such as during a late shift or on weekends.


    • Sick Child Care: Employers provide in-home or center-based care for children who are mildly ill or recovering from a health problem that keeps them from attending school or their usual child care arrangement.


    • Before/After School Programs: Employers provide supervised activities for school-age children before school, after school, and during school holidays and vacations. These programs can be housed in various buildings within the community. Employers also may provide transportation between the programs and the school the child attends.


    • Summer Camp and School Holiday Care: Employers offer or sponsor programs on-site or within the community to provide care for children during summer vacation or on school vacation days.


Purchase Space/Discount Program:


    • Purchase Space: The employer arranges to “own” a specified number of spaces in a local child care program. Parent fees may cover most or all of the cost of any spaces used, but the company typically covers all or a portion of the cost of the unused spaces so that the program can afford to keep the spaces open for the company.


    • Discount Program: The employer arranges for employees to have a fee lower than that typically charged. An employer can make this arrangement with a single child care program or several programs. The difference in fees is usually absorbed by the company through a financial contribution to the program. Some programs that would not be full without the employer’s patronage may offer a discount that is greater than the employer’s contribution. Discretion should be used in these cases; such programs may not be completely filled because of their poor quality.


Employer-Sponsored Child Care Center Benefits


Questions and Answers about Employer-Supported Child Care