Children’s brains develop faster during their first five years than at any other times during their lifetimes. That’s why early learning is so important, whether it take place at home, at preschool, or in other types of early learning programs. Parents and families have many choices as to how your children learn and grow in the years before kindergarten. If you’re searching for just the right preschool, childcare, or other program for your child, Colorado Shines is a helpful resource.
A partnership between the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Shines provides parents with a searchable database of early learning programs. Each program is given a rating from 1-5 that indicates whether it is licensed and in good standing, meets health and safety standards, and is regularly reviewed by the state. Training of staff, partnerships with parents and the community, and other factors are also taken into account when rating a program. These ratings can help parents feel confident that their children will be in a safe and healthy learning environment.
Families will also find other helpful resources on the Colorado Shines website, including how to understand the different types of child care; information on how the brain develops in early childhood; how to practice safe sleep for babies; tips for what parents can do at home to support their child’s development; and more.
The Colorado Shines website also has sections for professionals and for programs, which providers can use to find training opportunities, access licensing information, and learn about the rating system and how to reach a higher rating.