Denver Preschool Program

What is Quality Improvement?

Improvement where it counts. Today, and tomorrow. 

Preparing children for kindergarten starts with a quality preschool. Research shows that quality early childhood education is key to laying a strong foundation of success throughout life, by:

  • Increasing kindergarten readiness
  • Increasing 3rd-grade reading scores
  • Decreasing retention and remediation
  • Increasing high school graduation rates
  • Increasing adult earnings by as much as 5 to 10 percent. 
That’s why since 2007, the Denver Preschool Program has invested over $8 million in quality ratings and quality improvement to Denver preschools. And more and more parents are using quality ratings as criteria to select their child’s preschool. Here are a few of the ways we work hard to help you boost quality in the classroom.

Denver Preschool Program’s Quality Rating and Improvement Process

Standards that matter. To parents and the community.

The independent ratings provided by DPP matter to parents enrolling school-age children in their first school. In fact, almost 90% of parents choose to enroll their children in high-quality institutions. These standards count to parents when they choose a school for their child.

As a DPP partner, we pay for your ratings, so parents everywhere can see your commitment to quality education. These are the ratings systems we use:

Qualistar Colorado

Currently, the Denver Preschool Program contracts with Qualistar Colorado to conduct most of our quality ratings. More than 87 percent of participating preschools have earned either three or four stars on this four-star rating scale, which measures quality based on such factors as the quality of the learning environment, family partnerships, and the training and education of program staff.


Your school may also opt to pursue accreditation through either the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). Programs that successfully achieve accreditation through NAEYC qualify for an automatic four-star rating through DPP (good for 5 years) while those who attain NAFCC accreditation qualify for an automatic three-star rating (good for 2 years).  

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®)

The best predictor for school readiness is strong relationship between students and their teachers. Denver Preschool Program uses the CLASS® observation tool to evaluate these interactions.

Quality Improvement Strategies

We’re not just here to improve the quality of schools. We’re here to improve the quality of your school.

As a DPP preschool partner, you’ll receive a customized improvement plan that’s built for the size, location and goals of your school. You choose the strategies that are right for you, whether it’s coaching, classroom learning materials, early childhood education coursework, and conferences. It’s one of the benefits of DPP partnership. We’re here to help you on the path to better preschool for your current and future students.

*Please be advised that the conclusions reached during the ratings process are arrived at over a one-month period that occurs every two years. In this way, they are intended as a “snapshot,” and parents are advised to use them as but one factor in assessing a preschool’s overall quality level. Site visits are also highly recommended.