Quality Improvement


Colorado Shines Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS)

Colorado Shines is the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for all licensed early learning programs. Colorado Shines supports programs to improve their quality and to connect with families looking for quality care.

The Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley supports programs and providers participating in the Colorado Shines QRIS by assisting them in gaining access to support for coaching, training, and a variety of classroom materials utilizing the Colorado Shines Quality Improvement funds. For more information, contact Monique Bosch at eccoach@eccslv.org

Colorado Shines Quality Improvement funds are available for licensed childcare programs/providers. The quality funds are allocated based on program type, number of classrooms, and Colorado Shines quality rating level.

For more information, please click HERE

CCCAP for providers

Contact your county department of human/social services for information. If a parent or caregiver has selected you as the child care provider for their children, the county will send you a packet of information detailing the necessary documents and training including:

  • A Fiscal Agreement, or the contract between you and the county, which outlines each party’s responsibilities, policies and the rate you will be reimbursed for child care services can be found here: English | Spanish. You will need a Fiscal Agreement with each county that you will accept children from under the CCCAP program.
  • A Form W-9 (IRS) used for identification purposes to report payments made by CCCAP. You will receive a 1099 Form (IRS) at the end of each calendar year for tax purposes. 

Please view the CCCAP Provider Handbook to find more detailed information on the CCCAP Program (available in English and Spanish). 


CCCAP PRovider Handbook  ENGLISH


CCCAP for Families

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) helps families that are homeless, working, searching for work or in school find low-income child care assistance. Families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program can also use CCCAP services.

Each county’s Department of Social/Human Services and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood, Division of Early Care and Learning manage the CCCAP program. Each county sets eligibility requirements for families but must help families that have an income of 185% or less of the federal poverty guideline. Counties will not serve families that have an income over 85% of the state median income. As of July 1, 2023, cooperation with Child Support Services is no longer required to be eligible for CCCAP in any county. You can learn more about the benefits of Child Support Services and apply for these services here.

View the Family Income Guidelines for CCCAP eligibility. Para español haga clic aquí.

CCCAP Qualified Exempt Provider Inspection Reports
The inspection reports for child care providers who are license-exempt and accept CCCAP may be viewed here

Apply for CCCAP

You can apply for CCCAP online, by mail (haga clic aquí para español) or by contacting your county’s department of human/social services. If you are using the paper application, you must submit it to your county department of human/social services in person or by mail.

Employment information

When you first apply for low-income child care assistance, your child care worker may contact your employer by phone to verify hours and wages. You have 30 days to give written verification of your employment or education program. If verification is not completed, you will not receive benefits. Let your child care worker know immediately if you cannot get the verification information.

Selecting a child care provider

You are responsible for selecting a child care provider for your children. You can select a licensed child care center, a licensed family child care home, or a friend, neighbor or relative caretaker. You will have to decide the type of care that is best for your children and meets your family’s needs. When choosing a provider, look for signs that your child will be safe, comfortable, and encouraged to grow and learn. The Colorado Shines child care search identifies licensed providers that accept CCCAP and provides helpful tips to find child care.

Before you take your child to your chosen provider, you need to contact your county department of human/social services so they can authorize care. They will need the name, address and phone number of the provider along with whether or not they are licensed. Failure to notify the county may require you to pay the provider directly for any child care costs incurred. You can find information on how your provider can contract with CCCAP here: English | Spanish

Notifying the county of changes

While in the low-income child care program, you must notify your county department of human/social services of any change in your eligibility activity within four weeks of the change. You must also notify the county if your income is greater than the maximum allowed amount of 85% of the State Median Income. If your children need a child care schedule change, you must also report this to the county.

Completing your low-income redetermination

Every 12 months, you will be sent a Redetermination of Eligibility Form (haga clic aquí para español). The county department of human/social services uses this information to determine if you still meet the eligibility requirements of the program. You must turn in the signed form along with supporting verification, such as 30 days of paycheck stubs and your work schedule, in the time specified or your child care benefits will end.

Other child care assistance programs

  • Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours) of state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-23 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for part-time (10 hours) preschool programming.
  • Work with your Colorado Works/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) technician to receive Colorado Works child care assistance.
  • ​Work with your Child Welfare worker to receive child welfare child care assistance.