Early Learning Center

Welcome to Shepherd of the Hills Christian Early Learning Center (ELC).  Upon entering the Shepherd campus, you and your child will be greeted by devoted teaching professionals eagerly waiting to partner with you for your child’s growth, development and education.

Our large and vibrant classrooms are rich with materials and resources waiting for your child to explore.  Low student to teacher ratios allow our teachers to nurture the God-given potential of every child.

Shepherd of the Hills Christian ELC offers a comprehensive educational program with flexible schedule options (part and full-time options) that meet the unique needs of families.

Our curriculum framework aligns with the Colorado Common Core Standards, and we use authentic assessment to inform educational planning and practice.  Take a moment to schedule a visit and I am sure that you will agree Shepherd of the Hills Christian Preschool is a place where your child can “Learn and Grow in God’s Love.”

Contact Kristen Hatton, Early Learning Center Director, at 303.798.0711 for more information on class availability or how to enroll.

At Shepherd of the Hills Christian Early Learning Center we:

  • Believe that children are a precious gift from God
  • Consider individual needs, strengths and interests of children when making curriculum decisions
  • Respect and support all families
  • Use authentic assessment to inform planning and practice
  • Intentionally plan learning experiences that are child focused
  • Believe literacy development happens throughout the day during all learning activities
  • Understand that play is the primary way children learn
  • Engage in continued professional development


Shepherd of the Hills ELC is pleased to offer the Musikgarten Curriculum for the Fall Semester for children between 3-5 years old. These 45-minute classes are taught on Thursday mornings during preschool hours and are taught by Nancy Duensing, trained and licensed teacher, for this fun and amazing music curriculum developed for preschool children.  For questions or more information, contact the ELC office or email Nancy at nancy.duensing@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes your Early Childhood Learning Center program unique? 

First, we have creative scheduling options from part time to full-time care to meet the needs of our families.
Second, our portfolio assessment system tracks and demonstrates the growth and development of every child in our program. Third, our professed Christian educators are committed to nurturing and educating the God-given potential in every child.

What fees are involved? 

There is $125 non-refundable registration fee and the monthly tuition fees. There are no other fees.

Are there class openings at this time?

Please contact ELC Director Kristen Hatton at 303-798-0711 for information on class availability.

What ages of children to you accept at your Early Learning Center?

We are licensed for children ages 18 months to 6 years of age. That means we provide ELC experiences for children who are 18 months to 3 years old. We provide Pre-K for children 4 years of age. And, we provide Jr. K for children who are 5 years of age and not ready for kindergarten.

Does my child need to be potty-trained before coming to school?

We would like our children to be potty-trained but understand that this is a process that takes time for children to learn. To that end, we support the process by taking children to the restroom at set intervals during the day. We ask that you support the process by providing us with the information that we need to know about your child including unique vocabulary or words, sending extra clothes for necessary changes, providing pull-ups and wipes, and understanding that independence is our goal.

What are your student-to-teacher ratios?

We follow the guidelines of the Colorado Department of Human Services guidelines. We are often better than the required ratios which are: 8 students to 1 teacher for 2 ½ year olds, 10 students to 1 teacher for 3 year olds, 12 students to one teacher for 4 year olds. We have one teacher and one teacher aide in each classroom.

What qualifications do your teachers have?

Our ELC teachers have a variety of educational experiences, degrees and interests. All of them meet the requirements set by Human Services for being group-leader qualified. In addition, most of our teachers have experience being a mom and understanding the strains of family life, too. You will find teachers who have degrees in early childhood education. In addition, you will find that many of our teacher aides have a variety of experiences that include nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and speech/language pathology.
All staff go through training in CPR, First Aid, Universal Precautions, Safeguarding Our Children, and on-going early learning education and training.

How can I know that Shepherd of the Hills Christian Early Learning Center is a quality preschool?

We are licensed by the Colorado Department of Human Services. We go through periodic inspections by Tri-County Health Department and meet regulations for safety set by the Fire Department. Also, we have met the accreditation standards set forth by the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation. This accreditation process is recognized by the State of Colorado.

What are your Christian beliefs?

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died on the cross so that we might be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life in heaven. Please see this page on our church website for statements about our church.

Can I get my registration fee back?

The registration fee is non-refundable unless we cannot place your child in a class. Usually, we do not process checks until we are certain about placement.