Searching for child care or preschool programs can be daunting but there are plenty of helpful resources available to help you through your search and make a choice you can feel comfortable with.

Colorado Shines is the State of Colorado’s Quality Rating Improvement System for licensed child care and preschool programs.  It is not a mandatory system but is an indicator of a program’s commitment to providing quality care.  Participating providers are rated on a scale from Level 1 to Level 5 (5 being the highest).  All licensed programs are automatically a Level 1 until they decide to participate in Colorado Shines and can move up to a Level 2 and above.  School-age-specific programs are not involved in the Colorado Shines system.  If you come across a highly rated program, it is still important to interview them and utilize your instincts and available resources to make the best decision for you and your family.

We strongly recommend parents review each child care program’s background summary either by calling the Colorado Division of Early Care and Learning at 1-800-799-5876 or 303-866-5958 or by reviewing the summaries online by following the directions below.

Check background summaries here.

Background summaries include:

  • Complaints filed against the program
  • Licensing violations
  • Child Abuse investigations conducted first by the County and then by the local Licensing Specialist as well as the outcome of the investigation.

Helpful information on Background Checks – Click Help