What is the Quality Rating and Improvement System?
Colorado’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is called Colorado Shines. It is used to assess, enhance, and communicate the level of documented and observed quality in early care and education programs. Colorado Shines assigns a quality rating to licensed early care and education programs based on the criteria listed below.It is used to assess, enhance, and communicate the level of documented and observed quality in early care and education programs. Colorado Shines assigns a quality rating to licensed early care and education programs based on the criteria listed below.. For more information, please visit http://coloradoshines.force.com/ColoradoShines.
How does Colorado Shines work?
This system provides standardized criteria of quality for all child care providers in Colorado who choose to be rated and provides incentives and supports to providers that wish to raise the level of observed care at their facility.
- Colorado Shines rates the quality of programs on a scale of 1 to 5.
- At level 1, licensed child care programs must meet Colorado’s extensive licensing requirements for health and safety.
- Participants who have been rated Level 2 are recognized as “Participating in Quality Improvement” meaning they have proven high standards in their staff credentials, parent communications, and staff supports.
- Child care programs rated at Levels 3, 4, or 5 are recognized as “Highly Rated” meaning they have completed an intensive rating process that includes an observation and review of the program’s practices in staff development, family involvement, community involvement, and curriculum. This rating process and review then earns the program a rating level of 3, 4, or 5 depending on their practices as observed.
What are the Colorado Shines standards of quality?
Programs that choose to be assessed will have an onsite visit to score the program in the following quality standards:
- Child Health – Children have healthy snacks and meals. Higher quality programs will also track children’s development to make sure they are growing and learning. The tracking helps guide activities geared to benefit children the most.
- Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development – Well-trained, responsive and effective teachers are essential to a high-quality early education program.
- Learning Environment – Children have materials and activities to teach them new skills. The setting is clean and organized for optimal learning.
- Family Engagement and Relationships – Parents and providers are partners in the child’s early learning and care.
- Leadership/Management – Strong leadership and business practices are critical to maintaining high quality early education programs.