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Qualistar Early Learning

The Colorado Trust was committed to improve the quality of child care through Qualistar Early Learning (formerly Educare Colorado). Qualistar works to offer all Colorado children quality early-childhood learning experiences by:

  • Increasing awareness of the importance of early childhood learning experiences through a public education campaign aimed primarily at parents
  • Improving the quality of licensed child care programs by offering child care providers quality improvement plans, college scholarships, training, quality improvement coaches, and loans and grants for facility improvements
  • Rating licensed child care programs (using the Qualistar Rating System) so that parents may select a program with an emphasis on learning
  • Working to increase funding in early childhood education so that all Colorado families can afford quality care for their children

A group of leaders from Colorado’s business, philanthropic, education and religious communities formed Educare Colorado in 1997. Other Colorado and national foundations joined The Trust to support the organization, which has helped raise the quality of care for Colorado’s children. In July 2004, Educare merged with the Colorado Office of Resource and Referral Agencies (CORRA), which coordinated the statewide network of child care resource and referral agencies supporting families in choosing quality child care. Collectively, Educare Colorado and CORRA are now known as Qualistar Early Learning. This innovative merger made Colorado the first state to combine its accountability system for preschools and child care facilities with its statewide network of agencies that help parents find child care.

The RAND Corporation conducted an evaluation that determined that the components of the Qualistar Rating System accurately measure early childhood program quality.

Evaluation contact: Courtney Ricci, vice president of research, evaluation & strategic learning (interim), (303)837-1200.

Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.