Child care costs are rising across the nation, and Coloradans are faced with the choice to either see the impact on their bank accounts, or rearrange their schedules, careers and lives to care for their children full time. Colorado has some of the highest childcare rates in the nation, and a growing population, which makes finding inexpensive care a serious problem for families in the Rocky Mountain State.

Child Care by the numbers in Colorado

  • In Colorado, single parents pay 52.1% of their income for infant center care.
  •  Married parents of 2 children living at the poverty line pay 108.5% of their household income for center-based child care.
  • The cost of infant care in Colorado is nearly the annual cost of college tuition at a four year college. The average cost of center-based child care for an infant costs nearly a year of mortgage in Colorado.


Good Deal, or Good Care?

Undoubtedly,  worth of childcare goes beyond the dollar value of the center – parents face the confusing yet seemingly inevitable risk of sacrificing quality when they opt to enroll at a less expensive institution.

But what if families didn’t have to choose between a good deal, and a good quality of service for their loved ones? Childcare co-ops have offered some of the most affordable, sustainable, and quality care for families across the nation for decades – in fact, there are over 1,000 childcare cooperatives in the United States. Child care costs for working parents can be reduced up to 85% by cooperative daycares. Cooperative daycares, preschools, and other childcare services are examples of social cooperatives.

Social Co-ops Overview

The co-op business model is being creatively utilized to deliver social and public services as well as create employment opportunities for people who may be unemployed or under-employed. Social cooperatives are diverse, but they are united by their values-based operations to deliver needed services in their communities and keep their businesses controlled by the people at the heart of each organization.

Co-op Child Care in Colorado

Cooperative daycares and other childcare co-ops can be valuable resources for families in Colorado. Check out these co-ops when you’re considering future care for your family.

Child Care Co-ops in Boulder

  • Our School Preschool– Our School Preschool has been a teacher-parent cooperative since 1973. The school believes that “ Excellence in early education relies on creating an appropriate foundation for the very basic requisites of human qualities: individual intelligences, ethical attitudes, aesthetic awareness, a thirst for learning for its own sake, and the balance between one’s autonomy and that of social responsibility.” Parents are actively involved in the schooling process and help teachers develop these qualities in the children by contributing in the classroom on at least a monthly basis. Parents also help with deep cleaning days, semi-annual meetings, board governance, fundraising activities, picnics, and more!
  • New Horizons Cooperative Preschool– New Horizons Cooperative Preschool creates a fun-focused and culturally diverse pre-schooling experience for  children aged 2.5 to 7 years old. The bilingual, play-based program was founded in 1968 with a goal to bring together families and children who are traditionally separated by ehtnicity, class, race, and culture. The collaborative effort of parents, teachers, and community members has been fostering diversity and education for children for nearly 50 years! Each parent adds their personal touch to the classroom’s day, whether it is in singing a song, making a healthy snack, leading a craft, or just interacting with a small group of students.

Childcare Co-ops in Denver

  • Steele Cooperative Preschool– Steele Cooperative Preschool engages families and keeps costs low  by actively involving parents in their children’s earliest education. This approach creates a sense of community for students and parents in Northwest Denver. This highly-rated cooperative preschool was founded in 1982, and is lauded for its one-room-school-house environment, play-based curriculum, and age-appropriate commitment to Kindergarten preparedness.
  • My Nanny Solution– Founded in 2014 as a worker-owned cooperative, My Nanny Solution is owned and operated by the childcare providers! The nannies started My Nanny Solution to be able to do the work that they love, while also to create living wage jobs to provide for their own families, as they are all mothers themselves. Families that use My Nanny Solution will receive the highest quality of care, as all of the member nannies go through extensive childcare training to care for infants, toddlers, and children.
  • Denver Cooperative Preschool – Denver Cooperative Preschool (DCP) is a play-based, parent cooperative preschool, owned by the families that use the school services. That means, when you enroll your child in DCP, you will not only receive great childcare, you will also become one of the member families who owns and administers the preschool! Creative learning and play are top priorities for teachers and parents at DCP. This preschool provides a safe, nurturing environment with many developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities for children to creatively explore and learn through play.

Search all Childcare & Education Co-ops here.

Do you know of a childcare & Education Co-op that should be listed? Email us at so we can add it to our co-op directory!