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Results Matter Handbook


Begun in 2005 to meet state and federal accountability reporting requirements, Results Matter is now a nationally recognized early childhood assessment and outcomes measurement approach for Colorado children from birth through age five administered by the Colorado Department of Education. We want to ensure great outcomes for children. To that end, we must measure those outcomes. Results Matter helps lay strong foundations, an integral part of CDE’s strategic plan, by providing the means for families and educators to make informed decisions for children in the early years.

This handbook is intended to help early childhood care and education programs implement authentic assessment for children birth through age five. Children in publicly funded Kindergarten are subject to different policies and procedures. More information available on the CDE School Readiness website.


Results Matter improves outcomes for Colorado’s youngest children by helping teachers, administrators, families, and other education stakeholders use authentic assessment data to inform classroom instruction as well as program and policy decision making. 

In addition, Results Matter is a core part of CDE’s Preschool Team Mission:

Through mutual partnering, CDE’s Preschool Team builds the capacity of leaders, educators, and families within systems to improve outcomes for preschoolers, by:

  • Supporting high quality implementation of the Colorado Preschool Program Act for children who are at risk.
  • Engaging in dialogue around early childhood policies that promote inclusive practices for children with disabilities as outlined in IDEA.
  • Informing and assisting stakeholders in making decisions based on child outcome data through authentic assessment measured within Results Matter.
  • Co-constructing shared knowledge within CDE to advocate for and implement evidence-based practices in early childhood education.

Results Matter Components

  • Authentic Child Assessment - At the heart of Results Matter is a developmentally appropriate assessment that provides valid, meaningful, and representative information about young children.
  • Professional Learning - Teachers are assessors in the implementation of Results Matter. To ensure authentic assessment is used with fidelity, strong professional development is essential. Results Matter makes available a variety of professional development resources.
  • Implementation - Technology, when used appropriately, can be a powerful tool in early childhood education. What’s particularly beneficial for educators and families who participate in Results Matter is that they have access to an online assessment platform that provides real-time reporting and digital portfolios.
  • Data Analysis - Results Matter provides meaningful assessment data that can be used to make decisions at every level.


The Colorado Department of Education wishes to thank the following partners for their contributions:

  • The Arizona Department of Education — for allowing adaptations of OSEP reporting guidance.
  • Teaching Strategies and HighScope — for their support resources.
  • All local care and education providers participating in Results Matter — for their ongoing commitment to high quality practices for young children and their collective knowledge base that helps the Results Matter program continuously improve.

Explore the Results Matter Handbook