The city's Preschool Program recently completed a three-year evaluation process through the Colorado Shines Quality Early Childhood Program.
Colorado Shines is a rating and improvement system for all of Colorado's licensed early learning programs. Operated by the Colorado Department of Education, it encourages and supports programs to improve and connect with families looking for quality child care.
Programs are rated on categories such as:
- Workforce qualifications
- Professional development
- Family partnerships
- Leadership, management and administration
- Learning environment
- Child health
After a three-year evaluation, the program received four out of five stars - missing out on the highest rating by only .16 percent. Some of the issues stem from the layout and amenities at the current recreation center. When the new recreation center opens in a few years, staff is confident the program will achieve a five-star rating.
Over the past three years, the program has gone through a metamorphosis in order to meet the standards. The environments are designed for 'purposeful' play. Children receive materials carefully chosen for the educational growth and learning styles. The city has moved toward a staff that meets the highest standards of education in the industry and training is ongoing.
The city's preschool program operates weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is open to youth ages 3 to 5.