top of page

Colorado Shines!

Colorado Shines is the quality rating and improvement system for all of Colorado’s licensed early learning programs.

It encourages and supports programs to improve their quality and to connect with families looking for quality care for their children.


The Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System honor those programs that choose accreditation for meeting their quality goals. Colorado Shines works directly with accrediting bodies that submit an application for crosswalk recognition.

Early Childhood Councils support the local delivery supports for the Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System by helping programs to increase or maintain quality through the implementation of quality improvement programs. This includes program-level support from Quality Improvement Navigators and Coaches. Quality funds are allocated based on program type (center/home), the number of classrooms, and program quality level. These stipends support the provision of coaching to include in-person, intensive support offered by subject matter experts to enhance particular aspects of quality; non-consumable materials for the childcare learning environment; or to compensate for professional development (qualifying Early Childhood Education college coursework, conferences, or


How does it work?

Colorado Shines is flexible and customizable. Programs can apply to be evaluated for quality ratings—and receive support—regardless of educational philosophy and can improve quality at a pace that works for each program.

Early learning programs are rated through Colorado Shines on a scale of one to five, one qualifying as a basic program, and five qualifying as an exceptional program:


  • Level 1: Your program is currently licensed by the State of Colorado.

  • Level 2: Your program is licensed, in good standing, and:

    • Has a quality improvement plan in place

    • Has finished the L2 Quality Indicator Program Assessment

    • Has registered staff in the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System (PDIS)

    • Has finished Colorado Shines Level 2 E-Learning Courses

  • Levels 3-5: Your program is licensed, in good standing, and:

    • Has completed all of the requirements listed in Level 2

    • Has been assessed and rated by a Colorado Shines Quality Ratings Assessor


What is a Colorado Shines Quality Ratings Assessor?

A Quality Rating Assessor will evaluate ratings at levels three through five and offer points within five categories: workforce qualifications, family partnerships, administration, learning environment, and child health.


Online tools to help you get started:

We have created two online tools to support your program through the quality journey.

Visit the Colorado Shines program resources and FAQ pages to find additional information to guide you through the process.


We are here to help!

If you would like assistance with Colorado Shines, please call to schedule an appointment.

(719) 469-0843


Helpful Hint:

The Colorado Shine website works best with Google Chrome. Don't have Google Chrome as your browser?

Get the free download here.


bottom of page