Our Early Childhood Education Program

Our School was founded in 1997 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and we purchased our permanent facility in 2007. Our School is a private, licensed, non-profit, non-partisan, interracial, integrated program serving children aged 6 weeks to 6 years and their families.

A strong belief in children and families dominates the philosophy of Our School. Our School is a developmentally oriented program which views its mission as providing the BEST early childhood educational program for children while they are away from their parents, while providing an equally important service to parents while they work. Our School is a supplement to, not a substitute for, each child’s family. Our goal is to provide a quality preschool experience for any child, including those with challenges, whether they be physical, emotional, or developmental. We strive to provide quality care that is available, affordable, and accessible to all families living and working in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Ownership of Our School is “ours”… children, parents and staff!

What is Colorado Shines?

Colorado Shines is a quality rating and improvement system for all of Colorado’s licensed early learning programs. It encourages and supports programs to improve their quality and to connect with families looking for quality care for their children.

The Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System honors those programs that choose accreditation for meeting their quality goals. Colorado Shines works directly with accrediting bodies that submit an application for crosswalk recognition.

Early Childhood Councils support the local delivery supports for the Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System by helping programs to increase or maintain quality through the implementation of quality improvement programs. This includes program level support from Quality Improvement Navigators and Coaches. Quality funds are allocated based on program type (center/home), number of classrooms, and program quality level. These stipends support the provision of coaching to include in-person, intensive support offered by subject matter experts to enhance particular aspects of quality; non-consumable materials for the child care learning environment; or to compensate for professional development (qualifying Early Childhood Education college coursework, conferences or trainings).

Click on the QI Incentives on the Quality Improvement page of your program profile to learn more about the Early Childhood Council and quality improvement supports available to you.

How does it work?

Colorado Shines is flexible and customizable. Programs can apply to be evaluated for quality ratings—and receive support—regardless of educational philosophy, and can improve quality at a pace that works for each program.​

Early learning programs are rated through Colorado Shines on a scale of one to five, one qualifying as a basic program, and five qualifying as an exceptional program:

  • Level 1: Your program is currently licensed with the State of Colorado.
  • Level 2: Your program is licensed, in good standing, and:
    • Has a quality improvement plan in place
    • Has finished the L2 Quality Indicator Program Assessment
    • Has registered staff in the Colorado Shines Professional Development
      Information System (PDIS)
    • Has finished Colorado Shines Level 2 E-Learning Courses
  • Levels 3-5: Your program is licensed, in good standing, and:
    • Has completed all of requirements listed in Level 2
    • Has been assessed and rated by a Colorado Shines Quality Ratings Colorado shines level 4
    • Assessor

A Quality Ratings Assessor will evaluate ratings at levels three through five and offer points within five categories: workforce qualifications, family partnerships, administration, learning environment, and child health.

Our School is a Colorado Shines Quality Program Rating Level 4.