Below are the general steps an Early Childhood Council completes to outreach and assist Early Learning Center Providers and Home Providers in applying for Colorado Shines Grant Opportunities.  These steps also outline how to complete, record, and bill for Coaching and Spending activities. You can read more about Sugar/ecConnect Permissions Hierarchy HERE!

Usually these efforts start a little ahead of the new fiscal year, which is July 1. Efforts must be completely concluded for all involved programs before the end of the fiscal year, which is the following June 30.  Feel free to visit the ecConnect Support website to learn more about Grant Management and Spending!  And if you run into any situation where you say to yourself, “hmm, this looks funny...” please submit a help ticket to!

To check out other Useful Sugar Reports that might further assist you in your Role at your Council click HERE!

To find the State TA Day Webinar Recordings click HERE! 

*Helpful Reminder: If you are having trouble seeing the screenshots in any of these articles click directly on the image to enlarge the picture for more clarity!  

*Helpful Reminder- As of June 1st, 2021 the HSQI Funding abbreviation became ESQI in Sugar and ecConnect and is for Programs Level 1-5 that serve families with High Needs (as defined by School Readiness Rule 7.716.1 CCR) and seek or maintain a higher quality rating.  

The CSQI Funding abbreviation became TSQI in Sugar and ecConnect and is for Programs Level 1-5 that have a CCCAP Fiscal in place and seek or maintain a higher quality rating.  You can read more about this change and what that means for your Providers HERE!! 

1. Get Child Care Providers interested in Quality Initiatives

Complete outreach, education, and technical assistance to let programs know about Colorado Shines Quality Improvement funding opportunities.   Below are several reports you can use to accomplish your initial outreach to eligible Providers:

  • #! ESQI Eligibility Use this report to find Programs Level 1-5 WITHOUT a CCCAP Fiscal are eligible for CSQI - Expanded (ESQI) 
  • #! TSQI Eligibility Use this report to find Programs Level 1-5 with a CCCAP Fiscal that are eligible for CSQI - Targeted Funding (TSQI). 

2. Assist Child Care Providers in applying for Ratings and Funding

Provider applies for or renews their Grant Funding (in Salesforce) by visiting Colorado Shines and clicking on the “Home” button followed by the “Apply for QI Funds ” button:

  • For the steps a Provider can complete to earn a Level 2 in Colorado Shines click HERE!
  • For Colorado Shines Support Videos click HERE!
  • This Guide should be used to assist Programs in reviewing and correcting an Application that has been returned to the Program for more information or changes.  
  • This Guide can be used for Programs who wish to apply for a Level 3-5 Rating.
  • This Guide can be used for Programs who wish to Apply for an Alternative Pathway. For a video walk through click HERE!
  • You can find the video for how to make sure your Colorado Shines QRIS portal is updated before applying for QI Funds HERE
  • For the Steps to help Providers in applying for TSQI/ESQI (once their QRIS Portal Profile is complete) funding click HERE


3. Review and Approve Funding Applications from Providers

Grant Lead at Council approves Provider’s Application in Sugar and sends MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) through Sugar.  

  • Click HERE for a Report which shows all of your Current Applications for the Current Fiscal Year (you can filter based on the Status you are searching for)

  • Click HERE for how to send a Provider an MOU!

  • Know how to send MOU’s but still have an issue?  Click HERE for MOU FAQ’s 


4. Signing MOU’s (contract between Council and Provider) 

The Provider's Primary Contact and Council Primary Contact (on your Council's Account record in Sugar) sign the MOU.  

  • Some Providers will need a Manual MOU upload.  For more information on this or if you need to send a new MOU to a Site click HERE!


5. Provider receives their Resources (funding and/or coaching)

Once all required signatures are complete, the Application Status is updated, and the Requisitions are automatically generated through Sugar.  The program’s QI navigator is the default assignment for all requisitions.  Any coaches with an active role associated with the program will be able to see related coaching requisitions in ecConnect.  You can quickly see a list of privileged roles based on your Council (Team), a particular Site (Account Record), or by a specific Role Type (such as Coach, Portal Admin, etc.) by clicking HERE  

  • A Requisition is a portion of a Funding Stream budget that has been assigned to a specific site.  Check out these handy Requisition Support Documents to get you started
  • To see how Funding/Coaching is being distributed click HERE!
  • When a provider’s application is approved, they are assigned a specific amount of QI Dollars and/or Coaching hours. However, sometimes they need more or less than they received originally.  Read more about how you can re-distribute Funding/Coaching for a Program in the article Transfers and Conversions-the Basics!
  • To make sure the right people have the permissions they need click HERE

6. Coaching Visits Begin 

The Coach reaches out to schedule first coaching visit and schedules subsequent visits up to the number of awarded coaching hours.  Depending on your Council’s policies, programs may be able to use QI dollars to purchase additional coaching hours.  ALL Coaching must be logged through ecConnect Portal.

  • If the Coach can not see their Programs in ecConnect click HERE for some helpful tips and solutions!
  • To view Un-Reconciled Coaching Logs click HERE! 
  • If a coach needs any assistance with scheduling coaching in ecConnect they can click HERE!
  • To see steps on how to review coaching logs in sugar and approve click HERE!

7. Providers Request to Spend their Funding

Now that Funding is approved and ready to use the Provider or QI navigator/Council Staff Can begin submitting QI Requests through the ecConnect portal (these requests will create Spending/Spending Detail records in Sugar assigned to the QI Navigator/Coach/Grant Lead who can then process for approval).  ALL QI Requests MUST be submitted through ecConnect. 

  • For a guide on how to submit a spending request in ecConnect click HERE
  • For a article on the different Vendor Types click HERE!
  • For a article on the QI Reimbursement Checklist (in ecConnect) click HERE!
  • For a quick article on how to select the correct Payable To Type (in ecConnect), click HERE! 
  • For a guide on submitting a TSQI Capital Improvement request in ecConnect click HERE
  • For a guide on approving a TSQI/EandE Capital Improvement request in Sugar click HERE!
  • For a quick guide on how to perform Transfers and Conversions (to redistribute Coaching or QI Dollars to Providers) click HERE!


8. Council Staff Approve Providers’ Spending Requests

QI Navigator and then Grant Lead receives notice to review the spending record and can select from a variety of approval options or send back for correction. Once preapproved, in cases where a PO (Purchase Order) is established, the order is automatically sent to the vendor for processing and fulfillment. If no PO is established, the order is automatically sent to the QI Navigator/Council Staff to place with the vendor manually.

  • For a report on how to find Spending that needs your review and approval click HERE! 
  • For a quick article on the Spending Record Approval Process click HERE!
  • For a quick article on How to remove an item/Spending Detail click HERE! 


9. Final Approval from Council Staff (Finance)

Once the spending record status is changed to “Approved Ready for Finance Review” or “Approved and Ready for Accounting” the financial contact on your council’s record will receive an email and can approve the order, process the payment, and ensure the Status of the Spending Record is changed to “Reconciled”.  The Financial Contact is set up in each council’s account page in Sugar - the person who is entered as the “Financial Contact” and their email is put under “Financial Contact Email" - will perform this and the reconciliation.

  • Steps for reviewing before reconciliation are HERE!

 10. Billing CDEC (monthly) 

Are you ready to bill the Colorado Department of Early ?  Great! check out the Step by Step Monthly Reconciliation Guide (CSQI Targeted/Expanded)!