More about Qualistar |

More about Qualistar

Dear Editor:

Thank you for running the article on April 3 about the fact that Qualistar Early Learning is rating child-care programs in our valley.

This is an exciting new development for families in our community, and it is important to us to let parents know about some additional things that weren’t covered in your article. There are now 15 child-care programs, up and down the valley, that have a Qualistar rating. Developed by 150 early childhood experts, the Qualistar Rating measures quality in all licensed early learning programs, both home and center based, that serve children birth to 5 years old. This four-star rating system (with four being the highest) outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the program and provides a detailed action plan for continuous quality improvement.

Families need the best care for their young children. This new tool, along with personal visits to potential programs, references and answers to many questions, will help them make this important decision. Rating these programs is a continuous process, with support from Kids First, the Aspen Community Foundation, and the Rural Resort Region Childcare Council!

Child-care staff and home providers are taking classes, new play materials are being purchased, families are asked to participate at varying levels, and staffing ratios are maintained at a level that promotes high quality. My hat is off to all the child-care programs that work every day to provide great care for great kids. They made an extra effort to put themselves through this quality rating process, and our community is better for it.

There are a couple of good places to start if you are searching for child care ” contact Kids First at or 928-7111, or go to All of the childcare programs’ ratings, and information about the ratings, are also available on the Qualistar website or from Kids First.

Shirley Ritter

Kids First director

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