Frequently Asked Questions:
A Colorado Shines rating (Levels 1-5) gives parents peace of mind. The Colorado Shines rating means that the program is licensed, in good standing with the state, meets health and safety standards, and is regularly monitored.
Programs with higher ratings (Levels 3-5) have completed a process to show quality programs and practice in all areas that Colorado Shines reviews (see bullet list below).
Colorado Shines rates the quality of Colorado’s child care and preschool programs for children ages 0-5, based on how well each program:
- Supports children’s health and safety
- Ensures the staff are well-trained and effective
- Provides a supportive learning environment that teaches children new skills
- Helps parents become partners in their child’s learning
- Demonstrates good leadership and business practices
Rising Star Early Learning Center earned the Highest Colorado Shines Rating and is a LEVEL 5 Center!
Supporting your child’s healthy development starts at home. During the early years of a child’s life their brains are developing fast. That’s why early childhood is such an important time for learning and development.
The relationships and experiences a child has in the first years of life impacts how the brain develops. That’s why it’s so important that we make sure that our children spend time with people and in situations that support their healthy development – whether they are at home with you or in child care with us.
Choosing a quality child care program (Rising Star Early Learning Center!) is the best way to support your child’s healthy development when they are away from home. Here are tips to help you support your child’s healthy development at home:
- Read to your child every day
- Talk to your child as much as possible about daily routines and activities; about their feelings; and what you see
- Sing songs to your child every day (e.g., Row, Row Row Your Boat, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
- Play with your child every day; get down on their level and follow their lead!
Our Parent Resources Page HERE can help you learn about child development and how to support learning at home. If you have a concern about your child’s development, talk to your doctor, your teacher, or our administrative staff!
The first step in helping to end child abuse and neglect in Colorado is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not mean that child maltreatment is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination. Trust your gut instinct and call if you are concerned for the safety and well-being of a child.
Remember. . .
- Suspicion of abuse is all that is necessary to report.
- Reports are confidential.
- Know where the child lives, or where they go to school.
- You will be asked to describe your concerns about the child and it will be helpful if you can provide the child’s name, age, address, gender, school attended (if possible), and names of parents.
- to find out the following:
- Better understand the legal definition of child abuse and neglect in Colorado.
- Recognize the signs and behaviors associated with the various types of child abuse and neglect.
- Know what happens after you call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.
- Learn how to prevent child abuse and neglect, and Get involved and connect with local organizations making a difference in Colorado communities.
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately. If it is not an emergency, call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) to report all concerns for a child’s safety and well-being.
The Early Intervention (EI) Colorado program provides developmental supports and services to children and their families from birth through two years of age (up to the child’s 3rd birthday) who have developmental needs. EI Colorado can help improve your child’s ability to develop and learn. The program can also help you and your family learn ways to support and promote your child’s development within your family’s daily activities and community life.
Each family referred to the EI Colorado program will be assigned a service coordinator within three business days of the referral being made. A service coordinator works with you throughout your child’s involvement with the EI Colorado program, assists you in accessing services and informs you of your legal rights. A service coordinator is your main point of contact and is an important part of the EI process.
EI Colorado does not charge family fees and services are provided at no cost to families who participate in the program. There are no income requirements to participate in the EI Colorado program.
Once your child is eligible for EI Colorado and an IFSP is developed, your service coordinator will work with you to discuss funding options and ensure that the services listed on the IFSP are provided to your family.
Research shows that the first three years of a child’s life are the most important time for developing and learning. By providing needed services and supports during this time, families will be able to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential, and may decrease the need for additional help later in life.
Want to know what Early Intervention can do for your family? Click HERE or just ask one of our administrative staff and we can point you in the right direction.
Child Find is part of Colorado’s system for identifying children suspected of having a delay in development. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or someone is concerned about the child’s growth or learning, child find teams will evaluate how the child plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if there is a significant delay or if there is a need for early intervention or special education services. Evaluations conducted by Child Find teams are at no cost to parents.
Children who are not yet in Kindergarten may be referred at any time when a family member, doctor or child care provider has a concern about their development. Children three to five years old are evaluated as a part of the preschool special education process.
Developing a Plan
Once the Child Find evaluation team, which includes the parents, has gathered enough information to determine if the child meets eligibility criteria for early intervention or preschool special education services, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed and services will begin shortly.
- Child Find Resources: hwww.cde.state.co.us/early/cfpreresources
You may be eligible to receive Child Care Assistance (CCAP) through your local Human Services Department. You may qualify if you:
- Reside in Colorado
- Are working, seeking employment, or are participating in training/education
- Have at least one child who is under 13 years old (or 19 years old if the child has special needs or a disability and requires child care
- Have a family income of less than the county defined maximum (visit your county’s website below for more details)
Recipients are responsible to pay a portion of the cost of care. This is called a “Parent Fee” and it is due on the first day of each month
Apply on the Colorado PEAK website.
Visit your County’s Human Services CCAP Website:
Baby’s first day in child care is an exciting time! It’s important to make sure you pack items to support your baby while they are in our care. We provided a list below to make sure you’re ready for baby’s first day!
Pack the following items:
- Sheets and sleep sacks.You will need to provide sheets for your child’s crib. Make sure the sheets fit our mattresses snugly. The crib sheets must be 24″ x 38″. Most retailers such as Wal-Mart sell it as a mini-crib sheet. Instead of blankets, pack a sleep sack to keep your baby warm. It’s often a good idea to pack an extra sleep sack in case of a diaper leak.
- Diapers, wipes and creams.Make sure you supply plenty of diapers, wipes and creams that work well for your baby
- Extra pacifier and lovey. While your baby may have a favorite pacifier or lovey they use at both home and in care, you may want to pack an extra one you can leave with it with your caregiver in case it becomes lost or is left at home.
- Clothing and Bibs. Include an extra outfit or two, packed in a gallon-size resalable bags. The bags can be used to return dirty clothes. Families may want to purchase a supply of bibs to use only at child care. Smaller bibs help if your baby is teething and drooling, and larger bibs can be used at meal times.
- Formula or Breast Milk. Send in enough bottles for the day plus an extra in case of an emergency. If your baby won’t be drinking the formula we provide (generic iron-fortified formula) then you will need to bring enough powdered formula for a week period. If sending breast milk, please send it pre-measured in each bottle..
Make sure your baby’s caregiver know which bottles, clothing, pacifiers and diapers belong to your baby. Be sure to label items with your child’s first and last name.