Media Advisory: CDHS and Office of Early Childhood to recognize Level 5 early childhood programs on February 16
DENVER (Feb. 10, 2016) – Two early childhood programs – Early Excellence in Denver and Teaching Tree in Loveland – have become the first to achieve a Colorado Shines rating of Level 5, the highest possible designation under the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System introduced last February.
Licensed child care and preschool programs serving children prior to kindergarten entry are required to participate in Colorado Shines, which is designed to assesses and improve the quality level of early care and learning programs. Colorado Shines rates the quality of these programs on a scale of 1‐5. It also provides free tools for families to search for quality rated programs in their community.
“Choosing child care is an important decision. Families deserve to know their children are in quality child care environments that foster a love of learning, promote each child's unique skills and cultures, and support the development of the whole child,” said Mary Anne Snyder, Director of the Office of Early Childhood. “Since the launch of Colorado Shines, the Office of Early Childhood has worked closely with early childhood programs and partners throughout the state to promote the importance and adoption of quality early care
and learning initiatives.”
Level 1 child care and preschool programs are licensed by the State of Colorado and meet the state’s health and safety requirements. Programs can improve their quality rating by investing in additional training for staff, offering activities to children to support emotional and developmental growth, and engaging parents and caregivers in the education of their child. Quality ratings are provided to child care programs at no cost, and the state provides financial incentives and coaching for programs working to improve their quality rating.
Currently, 4,564 programs are quality rated across the state, with 639 programs rated at the highest levels of quality (Levels 3‐5).
“When parents visit a Level 5 quality rated program, such as Early Excellence or Teaching Tree, they can expect to enter a facility that is committed to continuous improvement, employing professionals who understand the early years are very important for a child’s learning and development and ultimately their life‐long success,” Snyder said. “By participating in Colorado Shines, child care and preschool programs are demonstrating their dedication to promote the highest level of quality care and education for our children.”
Parents and caregivers can search for quality early care and learning programs in their community, discover financial assistance opportunities and learn more about Colorado Shines at www.coloradoshines.com or www.coloradoshines.com/es.