All licensed providers begin with a Level 1 Colorado Shines Rating.  Programs can choose to move beyond Level 1 by submitting for an Alternative Pathway or submitting for a Level 2 or L3-5 Rating.  

This guide was provided by the Colorado Department of Early Childhood for any Licensed Childcare Providers who wish to pursue a Level 2 rating to further their program quality.  It will walk you through the initial Application Process to fill out your Colorado Shines Profile Application.  If your Program has not done so already it will walk you through Applying for a Level 2 Rating.  You can also find the “How to Complete your Level 2 Application” video HERE!  A PDF Version of this article is also attached. 

If you have not yet created a Colorado Shines log in, the steps to do this can be found in How create a Log in to the Colorado Shines Portal.

**Special Process: Before your Rating is approved please note that you may receive an email from your Licensing Specialist if you missed any details or need to change information in your Level 2 application.  Please refer to the Level 2 Rating Guide: Once your Application is Submitted” Guide for how to complete your application if it has been returned by your Licensing Specialist. 

*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!  

For Spanish translation click here!

Step 1) Go to and click "Provider Hub Login"


Step 2) Click on the “Colorado Shines QRIS”, the blue tile, this will redirect you to the Colorado Shines Portal system.

Step 3) Start your Level 2 Rating Application by clicking on “ Start New Application”


  • When you start your application you will see a pop-up window. This pop-up provides tips that are available throughout the application, as well as, contact information for your council.


If at any point you need assistance with this Application, please contact the Colorado Shines help desk at or 1-844-447-4441.

Step 4) Fill out your Colorado Shines Tabs: The System will take you to the first step of the application process.  There are several steps to complete in order to submit for an L2 Rating: “Program Profile, Children, Workforce, Classroom, High needs, Quality Improvements, L2 Quality indicators”.

  • PROGRAM DETAILS In this section, you have to make sure that the Program information is accurateEnter in the following information the primary language spoken at your facility, legal filing status, services you offer, and your program schedule. This information must be updated once per year.  Once you finish, click on the “Next” button to proceed.


  • CHILDREN - The second step is to indicate the breakdown of students currently served in your program by age group. We understand these numbers often change. Please indicate your current numbers and update it annually with any changesOnce you have completed the Children section, click on the “Next” button.


  • WORKFORCEThe Workforce section is where the provider will verify the current staff and training hours. For Child Care Centers, an L2 quality rating requires that 75% of your staff has completed the required 10 hours of L2 training. Family Child Care Home providers need to complete 10 hours as they are the licensed provider. Training hours are stored in the Professional Development Information System (PDIS). Staff listed below are currently registered in the PDIS and linked with your program. The percentage of hours will be displayed on this page along with the number of staff and the minimum required L2 hours.


If you believe that the information is inaccurate, click on the "Get Staff from PDIS” button (option1) to refresh the data.  If staff information is still not accurate or you need to remove or add staff, contact the Professional Development Information System (PDIS) Help Desk at 1-844-447-4441, option 2.


Once all information has been verified, check the box located on the lower right-hand side.  With this confirms that the information is correct.  Then, click the “Next” button to proceed.

  • CLASSROOMS On this page, the provider will create sessions associated with listed classrooms. Classrooms are created by the Licensing Specialist. If there are classrooms that do not appear on this page, contact your Licensing Specialist to have those classrooms created. Providers must create sessions in existing classrooms. Providers can also update, create new, or delete sessions from this page. It is important to list all staff for the session.




There must be a Session for each Classroom on the Classroom tab . Click the “Add Session” button by each classroom listed on the application to add the Session(s).

  •  All fields with an asterisk * are required for the Session.

Both the Youngest Age Type and the Oldest Age Type fields have a scroll bar that must be used to see all options for the age types.

  • The “Add Session” button at the bottom cannot be selected until all information is completed.
  • After all information is completed, the “Add Session” button will now appear highlighted in blue. This means that the Session can now be added.


After adding the Session, the user will be returned to the Classroom tab and a "saved successfully" message will appear on the screen. The user will also be able to see the Session record on the page.  The user can continue to add Sessions for each classroom in a similar manner.  The Session can also be edited or deleted by using the function tools.

  • HIGH NEEDS - This section will help to determine your eligibility for Quality improvement Incentives (QI). Indicate the number of children that fit into each high-needs category. For example: how many Infant, Toddlers, and Preschool-age children are enrolled in a CCCAP program, Head Start, CPP, etc.

  • QUALITY IMPROVEMENT - Continuous Quality Improvement Planning is key to the success of your Early Learning facility and the teachers you employ. The Office of Early Childhood works to support your needs through Quality Improvement (QI) initiatives. The Directions section on the page can be expanded for further guidance and information about how to complete the page. Click on View more to expand the narrative.


From the drop-down menu select a “Current QIP”, this will give you the different categories to select from; such as Workforce Qualifications, Professional Development, Child Health, Learning Environment, etc.

Once you select the applicable category, a form will display on your screen. Make sure you fill out the category, sub-category, status, priority, and the complete by date. Enter your priority narrative in the Improvement Actions text box provided under the Criteria section. Then, click on the “Add to Plan” button.  At least one QIP plan must be created to achieve a Level 2 rating.

  • Click on the “Next” button when you are done on this section.


  • L2 INDICATOR - Completing the Quality Indicator Program Assessment is the last step to achieving a Level 2 rating. This step is required for Child Care Centers AND Family Child Care Homes. The Quality Indicator Self Assessment is organized by sections: the Infant/Toddler criteria and the Preschool criteria. If a program does not have an Infant/Toddler or Preschool classroom check the box that says “Check the Box if your program does NOT have an Infant/Toddler or Preschool room”.  In the Quality Indicator Self Assessment, a program should answer ‘yes’ in the picklist under the “Select an Option box” if programs are currently meeting the described criteria. Answering ‘no’ will help the program identify an opportunity for improvement, or identify an area where a program’s curriculum does not align with the Quality Indicator Self Assessment. If the program’s curriculum does not align with the criteria, the provider should indicate why in the comment field. Anytime ‘no’ is selected a comment must be entered by the program. You can submit for L2 even if you have responded "no" to one or more L2 Indicators.

If the response is “No”, the program must add a note to explain why this indicator is not met. After ‘No” is selected, a comment box will appear on the page. This comment box should be used by the program to indicate why this indicator cannot be met.


The information typed in the comment box will automatically save when you move to the next item. There is no save button. The notes can be reviewed by clicking on the Notes link. Once a note is entered, it can be edited by clicking on the “Edit” button on the note.

Step 5) Application Summary- Final Step before submitting the application is to review all the missing items as indicated on the sidebar.

  • Once all sections on the Application are correct and complete, click on the Confirmation checkbox section to confirm that application is accurate. Then click on the “Submit L2 Application” button to submit the application!


Once you have clicked on the “Submit L2 Application” button, you will see a pop-up that says "Your Level 2 Application has been submitted successfully!". This is confirming that you have successfully submitted your application.

  • If you click 'Return to Homepage' button, you will be sent to this page The application Status section will also update to indicate that the application is under review.


Once your application is approved you will receive an email confirming the Level rating.