Inside Colorado’s free preschool initiative

The state on Wednesday revealed numbers long awaited by preschool providers around Colorado — the amount they’ll be paid for each child enrolled in universal preschool.
In September, Colorado officials proposed that some children get an extra 10 hours a week of tuition-free preschool next year. Now, the number of additional hours is up in the air.
Los niños que hablan español u otros idiomas en el hogar y los provenientes de familias con menos recursos probablemente serán elegibles para 20 horas semanales de preescolar gratis.
Even some middle-income families would be eligible for 20 hours of free preschool — twice the amount promised in law — under proposed rules for universal preschool.
The 15-member committee will help set rules governing the state’s free universal preschool program.
Early childhood councils, school districts, and nonprofit organizations are among the three dozen groups that have applied to run Colorado’s universal preschool program at the local level.
Colorado’s new early childhood chief said it’s time to “stop the madness” and increase state reimbursement rates to reflect the true cost of child care.
Preschool teacher pay varies wildly in Colorado — from around $13 to $70 an hour, depending on the region, setting, and employee credentials.
Lisa Roy, who led early childhood education programming in the Denver school district from 2016 to 2019, was named sole finalist for the new department’s top job Friday.
Advocates in Florida, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wisconsin share lessons learned from their states’ universal preschool programs.
Free universal preschool has been a dream of Colorado early childhood advocates for years. Now the preschool expansion is law — and the real work begins.
The universal preschool bill passed the state Senate on Thursday, one of the last hurdles before it becomes law.
Although Democratic lawmakers have so far beat back attempts to defang the flavor ban bill, their biggest remaining hurdle could be fellow Democrat, Gov. Jared Polis.
Free college classes are part of a multi-pronged state effort intended to mint more early childhood teachers before Colorado’s universal preschool launch.
The vision for a state early childhood agency and a free preschool program open to all Colorado 4-year-olds took a step closer to reality Thursday.
Some district leaders worry about the scope and speed of changes as Colorado prepares to launch a new early childhood agency and universal preschool.
New revenue from a nicotine tax will give Colorado millions for universal preschool, but some experts wonder if it’s enough to ensure quality.
The planned universal preschool program will massively expand publicly funded preschool in the state.
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