Accreditation is a valuable tool for evaluating the quality of child care programs according to professional standards and for strengthening programs. Achieving accreditation shows parents and potential employees that the child care program is committed to high standards of quality and ongoing program improvement.

The following accreditations, certifications, and school districts are recognized in Colorado Shines as an Alternative Pathway to a quality rating:

Level 3

Level 4

Colorado Shines Requirements

As an Alternative Pathway, programs are still required to:

  • Maintain a current license in good standing and participate in annual licensing visits
  • Report annually on their progress toward meeting objectives in their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and establish new goals for the following year
  • Enroll all new staff into PDIS within 90 days of their start date and have them complete their Level 2 Trainings

Have a Different Accreditation?

If you have an accreditation or certification that is not currently recognized as an alternative pathway, the accrediting institution can complete an application for QRIS level assignment for School District Programs  or Other Accrediting Entities. Accrediting institutions can also visit Colorado Shines ( for additional information. If approved, your program can then submit on your QRIS for your Quality Level.