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Old 03-23-2014, 08:22 AM
4 posts, read 3,131 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all -

This is my first post but I wanted to say thanks so much for all the helpful information you've already provided. My husband and I have been avid users of this forum over the past several months as we prepare to relocate to Denver - such a great resource!

We're currently in the DC area and preparing to move our family of 4 (we have a 3 year old and 7 month old) in the next couple of months once at least one of us secures a job there. We plan to rent for at least the first few months so that we have time to get acclimated and decide the best area for us to buy in. We'll likely be renting in the Denver Tech/Cherry Creek area. Obviously a lot depends on where we end up job and apartment wise but I was hoping folks could help give me a sense for what to expect as far as child care - cost, waitlists, etc.

In the DC area you basically need to get on several waitlists the moment you meet someone you might like to have children with. Waitlists for infants are usually at least a year long. $1,600-$2,200 is the norm for centers while in-home childcare is usually a bit cheaper. Waits for older kids are a little shorter and prices get more manageable but not cheap (nor should it be but that's another thread...). Can anyone give me any insight into how this compares to Denver? I'm trying to figure out if we should get on waitlists now in anticipation of moving around May. Any recommendations for the Denver Tech/Cherry Creek areas? We'd like to have the kids in the same center so we need a place that takes infants on up.

Also, bonus points to anyone who can help me make sense of the public preschool option. We don't have anything like that where we are and it's hard to get a good sense for whether it's something we should be exploring.

Many thanks for any information or tips you may have!
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:46 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 20 days ago)
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,883 posts, read 29,313,834 times
Reputation: 7085
waitlists and other over the type A traits are not the norm here.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:54 AM
Location: Denver
323 posts, read 428,396 times
Reputation: 270
It's not that bad here. I can't speak from experience about the DTC area, but in the city of Denver, infant waitlists are not 1 year out. Some of the most popular places will have up to a six month wait for infants, but there are places that have shorter waits...a few with space available immediately. It's a shorter wait for toddlers, unless you are looking a very popular preschool in a neighborhood with a ton of kids. Costs for infants ranges from $1-2K (maybe more). Toddlers cost less. I hope this helps. To search for facilities near your rental, visit - Colorado Department of Human Services: Colorado Child Care Facility Search.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:18 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
3,111 posts, read 4,883,135 times
Reputation: 5429
Qualistar is an agency that rates child care centers in Colorado. Accreditation is voluntary from the centers, but centers who have undergone the process can be found here:

Qualistar Colorado
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:17 PM
4 posts, read 3,131 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the responses thus far. I'm familiar with Qualistar and just sent them an e-mail today - seems like that will be a really good resource for us. Good to hear that crazy long waitlists don't seem to be the norm. I look forward to leaving them and other less than enjoyable type-A-isms behind soon!
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:25 PM
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,896 posts, read 3,991,501 times
Reputation: 890
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
waitlists and other over the type A traits are not the norm here.
This seriously made me laugh. So true.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:43 AM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,889 posts, read 102,301,239 times
Reputation: 32946
It sounds like just one of you will be working, at least for a while. You'll have some time to find a place near your home. I haven't used child care in almost 20 years, so I can't help with specifics, but I can reassure you that what the others have said appears to be true. My daughter's friends are now starting to have kids, so I see it from there.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:19 AM
Location: 5280 above liquid
356 posts, read 513,719 times
Reputation: 383
My wife and I both work and have used the same childcare center since my 3.5yo son was an infant. We used to live close to the DTC area Holly/Orchard. The center is great, has a mix of teachers (Some gals from Mexico so our kids get a mix of English and Spanish exposure which we love and an Asian gal who is very musically inclined) female and male and has never raised our rates. Most centers here will include a 3-5% tuition increase annually and automatically which can basically nullify the lower rate between infant and toddler.

It would take us about 15min to drop our kids off since we were going against traffic from the DTC west. If interested in the name I can private message you.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:27 AM
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Denver
433 posts, read 963,109 times
Reputation: 293
I live up north in Broomfield, but just wanted to chime in and share our experience. After 22 years in the DC area, my husband and I moved our family to Broomfield last August. We are both type A people, and even though we have kept our DC based type A jobs, our quality of life has really improved. We LOVED living in DC and the close-in suburbs AND we also love living in the Denver area now.

Best wishes!
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:54 AM
4 posts, read 3,131 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks all - really helpful!

The "plan" (alright, I'm type A, I admit it! Hoping some of that will wear off over time...) is that at least one of us get a Denver job and then the other can hopefully continue their DC job remotely for a short time. We'll see. Hopefully one of us has some flexibility for the first couple of weeks that we're there...and my husband and I are coming out the second week of April for interviews and possibly to secure an apartment and we should be able to visit a few centers as well.

ELCO, yes, please send me the name - that would be great!

Thanks for sharing your experience, Scrapper! It's nice to hear from others who have made the DC to Denver move. Improved quality of life is what we're after. Especially more time with our babies. We currently live 10 miles from work but, with traffic, it takes an hour. Craziness. Glad you love it there
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