The Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is extending $5 million in tuition credits to Denver families with 3-year-olds enrolled in any of its more than 250 participating early childhood education programs over a period of two years. These tuition credits will be available starting this fall through a new pilot program, Preschool for 3s.
Preschool for 3s is the first time the taxpayer-funded nonprofit is subsidizing the cost of early education for children younger than four years old since its launch in 2006. Specifically, the goals of this pilot program are to:
-Increase awareness and acceptance of financial resources available to Denver families interested in early childhood education but for whom cost may be an enrollment barrier
-Create more opportunities for preschool-aged children to prepare for kindergarten
-Support a greater number of families with 3-year-olds experiencing challenges accessing or maintaining child care due to the COVID-19 pandemic
-Expand DPP’s resources in support of early childhood education providers and advancing the early childhood workforce
-Support programmatic shifts and expansions in preparation for Colorado’s adoption of Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) in 2023
“Unlike our longstanding model, which provides tuition credits to all Denver families with a 4-year-old regardless of income, the Preschool for 3s pilot program will prioritize families based on financial need,” said Elsa Holguín, president and CEO of DPP. “Our aim is to serve as many families with the greatest need as possible. Then, when funding allows, we will further expand beyond the pilot to include all families.”
“Our aim is to serve as many families with the greatest need as possible.”
Elsa Holguín, Denver Preschool Program
Preschool for 3s is a two-year pilot program running Sept. 1, 2021 – Aug. 31, 2022, and Sept. 1, 2022 – Aug. 31, 2023. Approximately $2.5 million per year intuition credits will be given to families through DPP-participating preschool providers each year of the pilot.
“Ten years of data has continuously demonstrated that when a child attends a DPP-participating program, they are far more likely to succeed in kindergarten,” said Michael Baker, chair of DPP’s board of directors. “We are proud to be able to provide that opportunity to more children through the new Preschool for 3s pilot program. Our goal has long been to expand our reach to 3-year-olds because we know the powerful impact early childhood education has on children’s lives. Two full years of quality preschool can do even more to lay the foundation for a lifetime of success for our youngest learners.”
To apply for Preschool for 3s, families can visit the Preschool for 3s page at dpp.org to determine eligibility and fill out an application, beginning May 5 through June 11. Since a child must be enrolled in a DPP-participating early childhood education provider before they can receive tuition credits, any families needing help finding and enrolling in an early childhood education program can call DPP at 303-595-4377 or email email@example.com for assistance.
Once families have applied to Preschool for 3s, families will be informed as soon as possible regarding their acceptance. If a qualifying family submits an application between May 5 and the June 11 deadline, they will be notified within five business days whether they have been accepted to the pilot program or if they have been waitlisted. Should funds allow, DPP will extend tuition credits to waitlisted families after the initial acceptance period. These families will be notified no later than June 21.
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