Child Care Provider Business Training

The Need

The 2019 Colorado Shines Brighter Needs Assessment identified a critical need to improve knowledge and supports around child care licensing and offer essential business support to child care providers. The need to strengthen these supports was made more urgent by the pandemic’s impact on businesses of all kinds, but especially on the already under-resourced child care sector. 

The Strategy 

The Office of Economic Development and International Trade's (OEDIT) Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, in partnership with CDEC's Division of Early Learning Licensing & Administration (DELLA) and local early childhood councils (ECCs), provide training courses and one-on-one business consulting sessions throughout the year. 

Nine participating SBDCs provide targeted training series at no cost to: 

  • family child care homes; 
  • child care centers; 
  • mixed family child care homes and child care centers with audience-specific breakouts; and 
  • programs developing plans for start-up and expansion, including license-exempt child care providers (i.e., family, friend and neighbor (FFN) providers). 

Training modules cover business basics, as well as early childhood-specific content relevant to the audience, such as human relations and staffing, bookkeeping, financial planning, business process development, marketing, quality ratings and sustainability. Each training includes a child care licensing presentation and an opportunity for providers to ask important business questions with CDEC licensing staff. Finally, an ECC representative attends to offer industry-specific knowledge during sessions. With the support of CDEC's bilingual licensing unit, several of these courses are offered in Spanish. 

One-on-one support is done by specialized business consultants and early childhood experts. SBDCs work with CDEC and ECCs, to improve their child care expertise. They also work with these early childhood partners to promote business training and consultation opportunities to child care providers across the state. 

Key Outcomes and Learnings 


The SBDC Child Care Business Training Program made a positive impact on child care providers, helping them overcome challenges, gain knowledge and achieve their goals. 

  • To understand changes in participating providers’ knowledge as a result of trainings, average self-reported knowledge ratings from before and after participation in the project were compared for all participants to evaluate whether reported changes in knowledge were statistically significant. Statistically significant changes suggest that the training had a meaningful effect on participant knowledge. 
  • The newly published SBDC Child Care Business Training Impact Report highlights the success of the Small Business Development Center Child Care Business Training program, its growth and impact, as well as participant data from 2020 to 2022. 


  • The Child Care Business Training has elevated mutual understanding of the services provided by the SBDCs and the participating ECCs. This has led to the forming of new connections and the strengthening of existing partnerships between local SBDCs and ECCs. 
  • The economic impact of preserving or creating child care slots in a community is harder to quantify for our SBDC partners than for their work in other industries. There is interest in exploring a way for SBDCs to be able to share with their funders that the creation or preservation of X seats has Y financial impact.

green gear labeled access and quality


Amount: $391,000

Source: American Rescue Plan Discretionary 

Expiration: June 30, 2024

Next Steps

  • To ensure the consistent delivery of quality business training across all participating SBDCs in Colorado, CDEC, the SBDC network and OEDIT are beginning the development of a hybrid model of the foundational SBDC Child Care Business Training. This model will be developed during a year-long process that includes working group meetings and review of training modules. The hybrid model will also be available in Spanish. 
  • At least nine Child Care Business Trainings and two in-person Early Childhood Business Conferences are planned for the remainder of the funding period.


  • Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) 
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) 
  • CDEC State Systems Building Initiatives Unit and Division of Early Learning Licensing & Administration 
  • Early childhood councils (ECCs).

Additional Data


table of key data related to child care provider business training

bar chart depicting number of child care providers completing business training by quarter