Secretary Of Education In Denver To Promote Child Care Center Ratings System

Secretary of Education John King is visiting Denver Monday to tout Colorado’s success with a new ratings system for child care centers.

Colorado has received about $44 million in federal Race To The Top grants, created to reward innovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education. The money paid for Colorado Shines, a mandatory quality ratings system that's spurred evaluations on more than 4,400 centers. Now almost 20,000 child care workers are getting on-line training.

Back in January, three-quarters of centers got the lowest rating of 1, on a 1 to 5 scale. That means they meet basic health and safety requirements. But Reggie Bicha, executive director of Colorado Department of Human Services, expects that to change.

"I anticipate over the next two to three years, we will see the percentage of child care workers operating at a level 3 or 4 or a level 5 to increase substantially," Bicha said.

King will visit a child care center and host a round table discussion with early learning advocates and education officials.