Colorado free preschool program enrolls greater than half of state’s 4-year-olds

Colorado free preschool program enrolls greater than half of state’s 4-year-olds


Greater than 27,400 Colorado households have accepted preschool matches by way of the state’s new common preschool program, in line with the Colorado Division of Early Childhood.

That represents greater than 32,000 youngsters, greater than half the state’s 4-year-olds, in line with state estimates. The state had a purpose of serving between 40% and 60% of eligible youngsters in this system’s first 12 months.

There are nonetheless loads of seats out there, although. The division at the moment stories greater than 24,000 tuition-free preschool seats stay open throughout the state and are nonetheless out there for households who apply by the July 13 deadline for the following spherical.

Starting this fall, all Colorado 4-year-olds are eligible for between 10 and 30 hours of free preschool per week. Households who have sure qualifying elements are eligible for extra hours of free preschool. Three-year-olds with qualifying elements could also be eligible as properly. Qualifying elements embody low family earnings, talking a language apart from English at residence, or having a incapacity.

Many collaborating preschools provide further hours, however households need to pay tuition for that care.

In keeping with a press launch from the Colorado Division of Early Training, 90.7% of youngsters have been matched to considered one of their most well-liked suppliers, with 78.6% of households being matched to their first alternative.

Two further rounds of matching are deliberate for the summer season for brand new candidates or those that haven’t chosen a supplier but. Households who utilized within the third spherical will discover out their match June 29. Households who apply by July 13 will discover out later in the summertime who their supplier shall be.

Enrollment in tuition-free preschool in Colorado is nonetheless open on a rolling foundation. Out of Colorado’s 64 counties, all nonetheless have slots out there. There are 1,930 collaborating preschool suppliers providing 56,866 seats, about 43% of that are nonetheless open. 

Some rural counties have only one or two suppliers providing a couple of dozen seats, however even in these communities, the state stories open seats. Amongst populous Entrance Vary counties, Denver nonetheless has greater than 2,000 seats out there, about 40% of the full and Arapahoe had nearly 5,000 out there seats, greater than half the full. 

The state’s common preschool program shall be funded partly with a voter-approved nicotine tax and provided at school district lecture rooms, non-public little one care facilities, church-based preschools, and houses licensed by the state. 

The early childhood division estimates that households will save about $6,000 per 12 months on common. 

Sara Martin is an intern with Chalkbeat Colorado. Contact Sara at


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