Did you know that Colorado has an incredible resource to help you find child care for your new baby, and/or a learning center/school for your preschooler? They've created a searchable guide where Colorado licensed child care facilities and preschools are rated based on specific quality standards to better help you find a space that you and your family can trust and get excited about!
Beyond just giving a quality rating to a specific location, they give you all of the details you'll need to decide if it's a place you want to add to your list of potential care facilities.
Colorado Shines is unique in that it is not only a searchable database for families, but it is an educational resource for providers in the state. Their goal is to improve the quality of care that Colorado children are exposed to before they make it to Kindergarten. The pre-K years are critical to setting up kids for a bright and strong educational foundation.
They are serious about helping child care and preschool centers reach new levels of quality service. They have a professional development section on the website that service providers can utilize. It's a free program that specifically educates these centers on how to be better--and in turn, up their quality rating score. This program is a great way for care and education centers to further develop their staff which gives them an opportunity to improve on their quality level rating with specific guidelines and benchmarks.
The best part? Colorado Shines is free for both you and the Service Providers. There is no pay to play here. It's a program that truly has Colorado's children's best interests at heart. That should give you peace of mind when it comes to who will be caring for and educating your children.
Their easy-to-use website has a searchable database (you can even search by a center's name) that is accessible from their home page.
You can do a more general search using your zip code, or you can type in your address to find potential programs within a 5-30 mile radius. The results are instant and you can filter them by different parameters on the left side and above the search results. It's very intuitive and easy to use!
You can view more details of a facility that has caught your eye:
You can even view a facility's licensing history! Through a link in the details section of your search, you can be connected with the state's provider list which will show you their licensing history.
Colorado Shine's has even created a very handy checklist and 'worksheet' of things, as a parent, you should be looking for in a facility for your child. Click here to access their checklist and print it off before speaking with any facility representatives or touring a center.
This database blows my mind! When my husband and I were searching for childcare for our two children (in a different state), it was tedious and stressful. To have all of this valuable information at your fingertips is a gift. Plus, the rating system that the state of Colorado has devised is invaluable.
Good luck searching!