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Supporting Quality Improvement Through Colorado Shines

With support from PCF, Stephanie Bivins and her preschool program recently underwent their first Colorado Shines rating process. Administered by the state, Colorado Shines is a quality rating and improvement system that monitors and supports early learning programs.

“We felt it was a unique opportunity to deepen our intentionality,” Stephanie explains.

PCF supports providers’ quality improvement efforts by providing childcare coaching that encourages and champions best practices. More than 130 licensed childcare providers are affiliated with PCF.

Says Stephanie: “PCF provided support throughout this process and assisted our program in understanding how to input our data, where to find information, how to utilize the Colorado Shines website as a resource, and were positive coaches and cheerleaders throughout the process.”

The rating system

Colorado Shines rates the quality of childcare and preschool programs for children ages 0-5, based on how well each program:

  • Supports children’s health and safety
  • Ensures the staff are well-trained and effective
  • Provides a supportive learning environment that teaches children new skills
  • Helps parents become partners in their child’s learning
  • Demonstrates good leadership and business practices

PCF coaching

Among PCF’s tasks are identifying opportunities for providers to improve classroom safety and to create a stimulating learning environment for children of all ages. Coaches also work to help providers’ staff and management increase parent engagement.

“My staff and I were humbled and excited and maybe a little nervous going through this process,” Stephanie admits. “But with the support we received from PCF, we felt encouraged and empowered to make gains towards our goal of quality services for our community.”

Colorado Shines gave Stephanie’s preschool program a rating of Level 5—the system’s highest.

“PCF’s support was vital,” Stephanie says. But her efforts, and those of PCF, won’t stop there. “We uncovered both strengths and areas for improvement. In receiving a Colorado Shines rating of a Level 5, we acquired detailed and valuable feedback that will only continue to strengthen our practices to fidelity.”

Sixty-one percent of licensed childcare providers in Mesa County participate in quality improvement programming with PCF.