Mission & Purpose

All young children deserve excellent early childhood education. Our mission is to elevate the quality of early childhood education across Colorado by improving everyday practice of professionals, and by building safe, supportive environments.

Elevating People and Places

Well trained, nurturing teachers are best equipped to meet a child’s unique needs. Decades of research shows that the quality of the learning environment impacts educational outcomes and social emotional development. Quality early childhood programs are much more than just baby-sitting. Quality programs help a child develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically.

At Qualistar, we believe quality is non-negotiable.

We offer training, assessment, grants, scholarships and technical assistance to early childhood education providers, collaborating with state and local entities to efficiently and effectively deliver solutions across the state.

We protect and promote high quality in early childhood education by advocating for policies that advance quality and increase awareness of its importance.

Quality programs provide a combination of these features:

  • Highly-skilled staff
  • Warm, responsive interactions between staff and children
  • Language-rich environments
  • Age-appropriate curricula
  • Stimulating materials offered in a safe physical setting
  • Small class sizes and high adult-to-child ratios

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A history of innovation

Qualistar has been the voice for quality early childhood education for two decades. The concept of a quality rating was developed in the early 2000s in response to the growing need to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early childhood education and school‐age programs. In those early years, the Qualistar Rating® was among the first in the nation, setting an example for now more than 40 states across the US that have a state sponsored rating system.

Today, early childhood programs that are participating in the statewide Colorado Shines Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) have agreed to meet standards that exceed the state’s licensing requirements and are committed to improving the quality of care provided to children. Yet, the majority of early childhood programs are low quality or not engaged in the quality rating system at all. Qualistar is focused on working with these programs to support the on-going development of their teachers and leaders and to offer the needed funding and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of their learning environments.

Together we can build a stronger Colorado when we increase the number of high-quality early childhood education programs for children birth to age eight. When we invest in children by elevating the people and places that surround them, we invest in Colorado.

Why Quality Matters

$1 now saves $9 later

Every dollar invested in quality early childhood education saves $9 in future costs for reading intervention, juvenile justice, and social services.

Limited access to high quality early childhood means low income and at-risk children are behind

12-14 months

At-risk and vulnerable children in quality early childhood education programs are

2 times

more likely to attend college