DENVER — Colorado kids can now be signed up for the state’s new preschool program.
Enrollment for the Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado program opened Tuesday, Jan. 17, with families able to register their kids for preschool this fall.
The preschool program is available to all Colorado kids in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten.
“It’s a huge savings for families,” said Gretchen Davidson, who helped coordinate the program rollout in Arapahoe County in her role as executive director of the area’s Early Childhood Council.
According to the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), more than 850 providers have signed up to participate in UPK, which launches in the fall. It will pay for 15 hours of preschool a week for most families.
“It’s really important for your child being ready for kindergarten but also just doing well in a school environment, in an academic environment or just socially with their friends,” said Davidson.
Enrollment can be completed at upk.colorado.gov. There is no deadline to sign up and enrollment will take place on a rolling basis.
“This is going to continue tomorrow and the day after and the day after so I don’t want parents to panic,” Davidson said. “I want them to know that there’s time.”
CDEC said children will start being matched to providers in mid-February. Potential providers include public schools, but also faith-based groups and licensed home daycares among others.
“It’s wherever your child is learning their best and whatever they’re happiest with and whatever is working for your family to get that preschool experience,” she said.
“It’s incredible to see hundreds of school districts and preschools registering to be a part of Colorado’s effort to prepare our kids for the future,” CDEC Executive Director Dr. Lisa Roy. “The enthusiasm is palpable with over 29,000 openings already available for kids in Universal Preschool Colorado.”
Providers interested in joining UPK Colorado can sign up here.