Enrollment for universal preschool opens in coming days

State says every child is eligible
Enrollment for universal preschool opens soon in Colorado, available for every child
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:42 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In just over a week, you can begin enrolling your children in Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program. The program covers 15 hours of preschool each week for every child in the year before they’re eligible for kindergarten. More than 29,000 seats are available throughout the state and just about 2,000 are available in El Paso County.

Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program launches this fall- it’s designed to help parents pay for preschool for children the year before they go to kindergarten and qualifying three-year-olds.

“For families, it assures that they are in quality care while they are working,” said Lisa Roy, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.

The program is funded in part by Prop EE, a sales tax on tobacco and smoking passed by voters in 2020, and funds previously used by the state for prior preschool programs.

“As long as people are smoking and paying a tax of cigarettes and smoking products, we will be able to utilize have funding to help support our preschool initiative,” said Roy.

The state said more than 850 providers are signed up across Colorado, including 41 providers in El Paso County.

The state said that the earlier you sign up, the higher your chances of getting your first provider choice are.

Children will start to be matched with providers in February.

Every child, no matter their parent’s income level, is eligible for at least 15 hours per week.

“Our goal is that every family will get the 15 hours so there shouldn’t be a first come first serve,” said Roy.

Registration starts January 17th at 8:00 a.m.