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Learn More About The Qualistar Rating™

colorado quality rating systemThe Qualistar Rating™ is Colorado's Quality Rating System (QRS) that measures the quality of child care programs in Colorado on a provisional to 4-Star scale.  The Qualistar Rating™ is an important part of Colorado's child care Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

The benefits of high quality early learning experiences for children appeal to both early childhood programs and families. By participating in the Qualistar Rating™ programs receive a detailed Quality Performance Profile© (QPP) that includes strengths and areas for improvement specific to their program and classrooms. Families benefit by accessing the program’s Quality Rating Report and by gaining an understanding of the components contributing to quality early learning experiences. This helps parents make more informed choices on the type of care they would like for their child.

Long Term Benefits of High Quality Early Childhood Experiences

Research over almost 50 years shows the following long-term economic and social benefits of providing high quality early childhood experiences:

  • Enhanced school readiness and reduced racial, ethnic and socio-economic achievement gaps
  • Reduced special education costs
  • Increased high school graduation rates
  • Reduced crime rates over time, with a very significant impact on public spending
  • Increased employment, income and tax contribution levels
  • Decreased public health care, welfare and child care expenses
  • Reduced grade repetition

Qualistar Colorado and its Qualistar Rating™ team partner with programs on the assessment phase of their quality improvement journey. Evidence of a high quality early learning experience can be found in many aspects of a program. Strong Family Partnerships, age-appropriate learning experiences, positive interactions between teachers and children, effective health and safety procedures, and the ongoing training and education of the program staff are just some of the critical areas that contribute to the quality of care provided to children and families. These and other criteria are assessed per program by the Rating team. Learn more about Qualistar Rating™ components and the rating process.

Colorado's quality rating system, Qualistar Rating™, is available to all child care programs licensed by Colorado’s Department of Human Services. It is NOT a different type of license or a substitute for licensing or accreditation. The intent of the Qualistar Rating™ is to give licensed programs a measurement of quality, by star levels, and recommendations on how to improve the quality of the care they provide. Accreditation by a national accrediting agency is a separate process that has its own set of standards and validation system.

The Qualistar Rating™ at a Glance

  • To date, Qualistar Colorado has rated licensed family child care homes; for-profit and non-profit center-based programs; stand-alone Head Start and Early Head Start programs; public school-based preschool programs; and faith-based programs.
  • The Qualistar Rating™ is a biennial rating and is therefore certified for two years. However, some funders prefer that the programs they fund for Ratings and targeted quality improvements receive an annual rating.
  • The Qualistar Rating™ was developed in 2000 with input from approximately 50 early childhood educators and advocates. Colorado was among the first states in the nation to develop a rating and is the only state to combine its quality rating with its child care resource and referral system.
  • The Qualistar Rating™ is an integral part of Colorado’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS).

Acknowledgements

The Qualistar Rating™ is patented with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under US Patent Number 101980.504.

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale—Revised Edition, Updated by Thelma Harms, Richard M. Clifford, and Debby Cryer. (Teachers College Press, Copyright © 2005 by Thelma Harms, Richard M. Clifford, and Debby Cryer.) Used with permission of the publisher and the authors.

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale—Revised Edition, Updated by Thelma Harms, Debby Cryer, and Richard M. Clifford. (Teachers College Press, Copyright © 2006 by Thelma Harms, Deborah Reid Cryer, and Richard M. Clifford) Used with permission of the publisher and the authors.

Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale—Revised Edition, Updated by Thelma Harms, Debby Cryer, and Richard M. Clifford. (Teachers College Press, Copyright © 2007 by Thelma Harms, Deborah Reid Cryer, and Richard M. Clifford.) Used with permission of the publisher and the authors.

For more information about the Enviroment Rating Scale© tools please visit www.teacherscollegepress.comwww.fgp.unc.edu/~ecers and www.ERSinstitute.com.