High quality child care gives children a strong start

Decades of research by neuroscientists and other experts have shown that the first five years – in particular the first three – have the greatest potential for setting a strong foundation for lifelong learning and health. During the first few years, children’s brains are developing rapidly with more than one million new neural connections forming every second. [1]

Early experiences and relationships shape how a child’s brain develops. Creating a strong foundation – with secure, loving relationships and positive experiences both at home and in care settings – leads to greater health, learning and well-being for the child later on.

Quality early learning programs, like child care and preschool, provide these positive experiences by supporting children’s health and safety; ensuring professionals are well-trained; creating supportive learning environments that teach children new skills; and helping parents and caregivers become partners in their child’s learning. Colorado Shines helps connect parents to programs that will have a positive and lasting impact on their children’s development.

Colorado Shines is Colorado’s official early learning quality rating and improvement system.  Colorado Shines rates the state’s early learning programs, connects families with quality programs, and helps programs improve their quality level. It is free for programs, professionals and families to use.

By helping child care and preschool programs continually improve their quality, Colorado Shines helps programs provide opportunities for children to grow and thrive.

Visit www.ColoradoShines.com for more information, and use the “Find a Program” tool to view all of the licensed programs in your area, see their quality rating, find out how they accommodate children with special needs, learn if they accept the Child Care Assistance Program, and more! Families can also call the Colorado Shines Child Care Referral at Mile High United Way at 1-877-338-2273 to conduct a search over the phone.

[1] Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child


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