Inside Colorado’s free preschool initiative

Before the rule change, some preschool providers said they had to turn away families who hadn’t filled out the state’s online application.
Voters approved a similar ballot measure allowing the state to keep excess marijuana tax in 2015.
El programa preescolar universal de Colorado ya está aquí. Si el medio día de clases no es suficiente, estos programas podrían ayudar.
National researchers said Colorado’s new universal preschool program could have some of the weakest quality standards in the country.
Some programs are for low-income families, and others serve families regardless of income.
“I feel good with where we’re at,” said the director of a Denver child care center participating in the state’s universal preschool program.
School districts and education groups say the state has broken promises about funding, among other problems.
“We don’t give more fourth grade hours to low-income families,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “I view half-day preschool the same way.”
Half of 4-year-olds participating in Colorado’s new preschool program have risk factors, but there’s not enough money to give all of them full-day classes.
The state will cover the cost of training for students going into six high-demand fields.
Colorado is on track to meet its goal of serving between 40% and 60% of the state’s 4-year-olds in the new universal preschool program, a spokeswoman said.
Families who apply by Wednesday at 5 p.m. will find out June 1 which preschools their children matched with.
Some preschools are still deciding how many seats to offer through the universal program next fall.
Preschools won’t have to make quality improvements in the first year of universal preschool.
Questions remain about whether enough is being done to get the word out to families that don’t speak English and what programming will look like.
The announcement comes just two days before families were supposed to learn which programs their children could attend.
Most families who applied for Colorado’s universal preschool program by Feb. 24 will find out which preschool they matched with on March 30.
The first application window for Colorado’s new free preschool program runs from Jan. 17 to Feb. 14.
The last-minute deadline extension to Feb. 24 by Colorado officials comes amid stumbles that have led to confusion and frustration among parents and preschool providers.
El programa de preescolar gratis de Colorado pagará por 10-30 horas semanales de preescolar el año antes de entrar al Kinder. Aquí está todo lo que necesitas saber.
Families have until Feb. 14 to submit their revised application for free preschool.
Officials from several Colorado school districts are worried they’ll lose funding for preschoolers with disabilities next year.
The early burst of interest could mean enrollment in Colorado’s free preschool program will exceed the 30,000 children expected to participate during the first year.
Polis proposes in 2023-24 providing free training for jobs in education, health care, and construction trades.
Los sistemas de inscripción para el preescolar y los estudiantes de K-12 son separados, y esto ha confundido a algunos padres.
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Colorado will pay most universal preschool providers more per child next year than what they receive now through a smaller state-funded preschool program.
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