Steamboat Springs School District’s Early Childhood Center improves state ranking |

Steamboat Springs School District’s Early Childhood Center improves state ranking

Michelle Gutierrez, left, Adan Barragan and Olga Mora get Adam registered for his first day of classes at the Early Childhood Center in 2015.

— The Steamboat Springs School District's preschool has improved its score on a state ranking system that evaluates Colorado preschools.

The district's Early Childhood Center learned last week it had earned a rating of 4 on the 5-point Colorado Shines scale, up from an initial score of 2 early in the 2015-16 school year and 3 later in the year.

The district took over operations of the preschool from the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services in 2015.

"The staff of the Steamboat Springs Early Childhood Center works hard each day to provide the best environment and programming for our students in our program," said Soda Creek Elementary Principal Michele Miller, who oversees the program along with Strawberry Park Elementary Principal Tracy Stoddard. "Our Shines rating is something to be proud of and a tribute to our staff's dedication and commitment."

The rating system is used by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood as a quality rating and improvement system for all of Colorado's licensed early care and learning programs.

According to the Colorado Shines database, the Early Childhood Center is now one of five Steamboat Springs preschools ranked at level 4. The others are Discovery Learning Center, Heritage Park Preschool, Young Tracks and Grand Kids Child Care Center.

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There are currently 32 licensed preschool programs in Steamboat Springs rated by Colorado Shines, with scores ranging from 1 to 4. No programs have a score of 5.

Because the rating program was implemented in 2013 and is relatively new, several Steamboat Springs preschools have seen their ratings improve during the past two years.

According to Colorado Shines, programs with ratings of 3, 4 or 5 have strong classroom instruction, staff training and family engagement to support children's success.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

How does your child’s preschool rank?

Learn more about the Colorado Shines ranking system and see a searchable database of preschools at

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