Fundamentals for Child Care Businesses


May 9, 2024


Thursdays 6:00-8:00pm


Virtual (Zoom)


6 Weeks



Our summer course has already filled, but we will offer this course again in the fall. Click here for details and registration for the fall course!

Course Overview:

This course is a six-week program designed to help child care providers in the state of Colorado to improve their business practices to both better serve their customers and promote their business sustainability with increased revenues. No prior business training is required, all are welcome! The class will meet online via Zoom, and participants are also invited to meet online one-on-one with an SBDC business consultant during and after the course for specific and continued training and support.

Training and consultation are available at no cost through partnership between the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and funding from the Colorado Shines Brighter – Preschool Development Grant. 

Child care providers can earn professional development hours through the Professional Development Information System (PDIS) by attending all training sessions. Please note, a recorded option and follow up with the trainer is available if you have to miss a live class. 

Course Outline:

By the end of this course, you will have the resources and knowledge needed to make improvements in your business model and operational practices. Examples of areas covered include:
  • Discover the mindset of a business owner
  • Learn about considerations impacting your license
  • Update your marketing and pricing strategy to optimize revenue
  • Examine your current business legal structure 
  • Optimize your system for tracking finances
  • Assess your business liability insurance policy 
  • Develop a business model that matches your lifestyle goals 
This course is eligible for PDIS credit. Full participation in the course is required to receive credit. 
Throughout the course, and after, you also have access to free 
one-on-one coaching support from experts in the field. 

Session Topics:

Session 1

January 20, 2022
This session is focused on mindset. We will uncover common industry mindsets and how they could be posing challenges in your business. We will learn about the process of overcoming limiting mindsets and how that process translates into positive business action.

Session 2

January 27, 2022
This session is focused on market research and pricing. We’ll compare and contrast industry standards as well as market rate studies and challenge you to think about your own business’s pricing. Should you make a change? We’ll talk through the pro’s and con’s and what that could look like for your business. 

Session 3

February 3, 2022
This session is focused on business revenues and expenses. We’ll cover systems for tracking finances and a tool to  help you account for child care expenses specifically. We’ll also talk about the importance of grants, open opportunities for funding, and other ways you can take full advantage of your revenue. 

Session 4

February 10, 2022
This session is focused on taxes, business structure, and business liability insurance. We’ll break down the various requirements at the state and county level to asses what makes the most sense for your business. These topics can feel very overwhelming but we have tools to help and experts to assist! 

Session 5

February 17, 2022
This session is focused on marketing and licensing. We’ll go over considerations to keep in mind when promoting your business and industry best practices. We’ll also hear directly from the Office of Early Childhood with open opportunities for questions. 

Session 6

February 24, 2022
Graduation! We will celebrate the accomplishment, discuss next steps, continued education and resources available to you, and how you can ensure you get your PDIS credit for the course. 


We will meet virtually (Zoom) for six classes. In addition, this course features an online learning platform with resources,  supplemental materials, lecture videos, weekly homework assignments, and quizzes to help you implement what you are learning in class into your own business. 


This class is free for Child Care Providers thanks to our generous partnership with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.


The course is held from 6:00 – 8:00 PM MST on Thursdays. 


Space is limited and this course is filling fast! Please click below to reserve your spot now.

Dora Esparza

Meet Your Instructor

Dora Esparza
Child Care Specialist, North Metro SBDC

Dora has worked in Early Childhood Education Administration for over 20 years. Dora has a long history of CCAP work and has chaired the Denver CCAP Collaborative (formerly known as the Child Care Task Force) in the Denver community for more than nine years. Dora is currently the Director of Business Services at the Denver Early Childhood Council and has provided ECE business coaching to providers for the last eight years.

Dora utilizes a relationship-based approach to build effective bonds with child care providers to help them grow their businesses. She helps providers develop strong business practices that work for them and values meeting everyone where they are and has a deep understanding of braided funding streams. Dora has a passion for ECE advocacy and helping ECE programs understand their cost of care and how to advocate for systematic changes. She has a master’s degree in Business Administration, as well as graduate degrees in Psychology, Project Management, Human Resources, Organizational Leadership, and Nonprofit Management.

Dora’s passions include reading, exploring new places in Denver, and meeting new people.


 To apply, we are asking for a 1-2 minute video where you tell us a bit about your business (either new or existing business) and what you hope to gain from this program. 

Any video file format is acceptable, but your video must be limited to 2 minutes maximum length. Please just let your creativity shine through . . . .we are looking for authenticity, sincerity, and a commitment to growth – not perfection!

Scholarships are available

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