Colorado Shines Brighter (PDG B-5)

  • Learn About Colorado Shines Brighter
    Colorado Shines Brighter Logo

    We are excited to announce that Colorado was awarded a $5.8 million Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This funding was made available under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and is targeted to help states build a quality early learning system for children birth to 5 and their families. 

    The one-year PDG B-5 project period began December 31, 2018, and will conclude December 30, 2019. 

    Colorado's original application requested $8.1 million. The Office of Early Childhood submitted a revised budget in January 2019, and anticipates approval to begin grant activities in February. View Colorado's PDG B-5 application (November 6, 2018) and revised budget (January 29, 2019).

    The PDG B-5 supports states in their efforts to analyze the current landscape of the early care and learning mixed delivery system, and implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and underserved families across providers and partners; improve the quality of care; streamline administrative infrastructure; and improve state-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.

    Colorado Shines Brighter is Colorado's PDG B-5 opportunity. Colorado Shines Brighter is based on the state's shared vision to ensure all children are ready for school when entering kindergarten by achieving three outcomes:

    1. Colorado families have access to quality formal early childhood care and education settings of their choosing which best meet the need of their child and family, especially those who are vulnerable and infants and toddlers.
    2. Informal early childhood care and education environments (parental, friend, family, and neighbor care) are enhanced to enrich and support children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
    3. Colorado’s B-5 early childhood state system is coordinated and aligned to enhance the resources available to families and to improve the quality of relationships among families, caregivers, and children.

    View and print the Colorado Shines Brighter handout. Watch our kick-off webinar (February 8, 2019).

    Infographic of Colorado Shines Brighter Vision and Outcomes

  • Colorado's Strategies

    Colorado Shines Brighter is committed to the following strategies:

    Activity 1. Statewide Birth – 5 Needs Assessment
    Do you have a needs assessment or data we should include in our work? Share it here!

    • Build upon existing needs assessments and conduct additional research to address:
      • What do we have (current state)
      • What is enough (what do families want)
      • Where is there not enough (identify geographic areas)
      • Who is not getting enough (identify inequities in access)
      • Why is there not enough (market conditions, parental choice, cost)
    • Explore an early childhood mental health consultation "warm line"
    • Assess community-level needs for different modalities of early childhood mental health support

    Activity 2. Statewide Birth – 5 Strategic Plan
    Do you have a strategic plan we should review or include in our work? Share it here!

    • Develop a 5-year strategic plan to ensure all Colorado children are ready for school when entering kindergarten by:
      • Utilizing the needs assessment information and data
      • Aligning existing state and local strategic plans and frameworks
      • Building on existing initiatives and foundational systems
      • Broadly including stakeholders across Colorado’s mixed delivery system
      • Increasing engagement in system-wide transition planning
    • Develop an Information Technology Roadmap to inform future enhancements or technology builds and maximize users' experiences
    • Identify innovative strategies to support the early childhood workforce

    Activity 3. Maximizing Parent Choice and Knowledge

    • Build upon Colorado’s consumer education and engagement efforts by developing shared messages, training, and resources all providers can use to create a “no wrong door” entry point to early childhood and family support programs
    • Update the Colorado Early Learning & Development Guidelines to align with best practices and other standards, and create new content that addresses caregivers’ experiences and early childhood transitions

    Activity 4. Sharing Best Practices among State Early Care and Learning Providers

    • With the support of a process management vendor, convene workgroups to assess and make recommendations to:
      • The Colorado Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators
      • The Early Childhood Professional Credential
      • Early Childhood Professional Qualifications
      • Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Framework
    • Evaluate and revise the Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to include indicators focused child development, outcomes, and to improve quality relationships; initiate a retooling process to transition from Environment Rating Scales (ERS) to the ERS – 3
    • Mine and analyze data to inform long-term training and technical assistance plans for Colorado Shines
    • Develop new course offerings on the Colorado Shines Professional Development and Information System (PDIS) to enhance quality relationships and to expand use of the PDIS across the mixed-delivery system
    • Analyze the organizational capacity and alignment of local community partners
    • Leverage the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) Contract for Slots Pilot Project to inform statewide adoption of child care slot contracts
    • Implement the ROOTS™ Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program
    • Enhance the Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists program
    • Augment the Growing Readers Together model
    • Pilot home visiting programs (HIPPY and PAT) to licensed family child care home providers and friend, family, and neighbor caregivers

    Activity 5. Improve the Overall Quality of Early Learning and Care Programs, Providers, and Service

    • Implement enhancements to existing information technology, focusing on the Colorado Shines website


    Colorado Shines Brighter Timeline
  • Attend an Informational Meeting or Stakeholder Event

    We are collecting needs assessments and strategic plans to review and inform our work! If you have information you would like to share, please add it here:

    Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) Program Quality and Alignment (PQA) Subcommittee

    The PQA Subcommittee serves as the advisory body for the Colorado's Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5). PQA Subcommittee meetings are used by the Office of Early Childhood to provide communication on the grant, provide members and the general public an the opportunity to provide feedback and share best practices on grant implementation. Visit the Program Quality & Alignment Subcommittee webpage for more information, including meeting agendas, minutes, and supporting documents.

    Upcoming Meetings:
    Friday, April 12, 2019
    9:00 am - 11:00 am
    WEBINAR ONLY - Register or participate here:

    Past Meetings
    Stakeholder Outreach and Engagement 
    Stakeholder outreach and engagement activities specific to each grant activity will be listed here as that information becomes available.
  • Join the Colorado Shines Brighter Team
    Colorado Shines Brighter job opportunities will be posted as they become available. To view other employment opportunities with the Office of Early Childhood or State of Colorado, visit the State of Colorado Job Opportunities website.
  • Apply for Grants or Contracts to Support PDG Activities
    Opportunities for organizations to support Colorado Shines Brighter as a vendor or grantee will be posted as they become available.

    Open Opportunities

    For all opportunities, questions must be directed to Roman Hernandez, Colorado Department of Human Services Procurement Manager, at


    Closed Opportunities

    • Closed January 31: Preschool Development Grant Piloting Home Visiting in Licensed Family Child Care Homes & Friend, Family and Neighbor Care 
    • Closed March 1: RFP 2019000172 Communications Maximize Parent Choice and Knowledge PDG
    • Closed March 7: RFP 2019000177 Communications - Early Learning & Development Guidelines Materials and Website Optimization - PDG
    • Closed March 8: RFP 2019000181 Colorado Shines Brighter Strategic Planning PDG
    • Closed March 11: RFP 2019000183 Colorado Shines Brighter Analytics
    • Closed March 12: RFP 2019000184 Colorado Shines Brighter Evaluation Plan - PDG
    • Closed March 14: RFP 2019000173 eLearning Development - PDG
  • The Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five Program

    In September 2018, the US Administration for Children and Families released the Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five PDG B-5. The PDG B-5 grants support states in their efforts to analyze the current landscape of their early childhood education mixed delivery system and implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and disadvantaged families across providers and partners, improve the quality of care, streamline administrative infrastructure, and improve state-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.

    The PDG B-5 provides funding for one year to complete five activities: 1) develop or update a comprehensive needs assessment, 2) develop or update a statewide B-5 strategic plan, 3) maximize parent choice and knowledge, 4) share best practices, and 5) implement quality improvement strategies in response to the needs assessment and strategic plan. Activities 1 and 2 must be complete and approved by the federal government before activity 5 can begin.

    The PDG B-5 does not allow states to create new early childhood programs and services. During 2019, states receiving PDG B-5 grants will be able to apply for years two through four of PDG B-5 funding.

Button Linking to Sign Up Form for Colorado Shines Brighter Updates