Families with 3- and 4-year-old children may be eligible for the state’s new Universal Preschool program at the district’s schools, including the addition of Mondays for a five day per week program and coverage of some or all of the tuition.
“We welcome the expansion of Universal Preschool in the fall,” said Jennifer Baufield, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs for the district. “Our preschool teachers are passionate about creating a love of lifelong learning from day one. Ninety percent of the brain develops before the age of 5, and we want to make sure we lay a strong foundation so that each student is capable of reaching their full potential.”
Baufield said the benefits of the new Universal Preschool program on-site at the district’s elementary schools include:
- Expanded five day per week program now includes Mondays.
- There are half-day and full-day options.
- Preschool teachers are licensed through the Colorado Department of Education.
- There’s a continued low ratio of 1:16 teachers/paraprofessionals to students.
- Preschool programs create continuity for success in kindergarten.
- Student groups reflect the diversity of our community.
- Transportation is easier when dropping older students off at the same school.
Universal Preschool ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for up to a half-day (15 hours) of state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for part-time (10 hours) of preschool programming.
If families do not qualify for Universal Preschool but are still interested in the program, there may still be space available with paid tuition. Interested families should visit the district’s website page on Universal Preschool for eligibility and registration information.
Kindergarten registration is also open now for the 2023/24 school year. Families can participate in open houses at each school and sign up for a Kindergarten Readiness Screening on April 1, 3, or 5.
“The early years are really crucial to develop strong social-emotional skills, build friendships, get pre-academic content, and learn through play,” said Baufield. “Our goal is that every child feels a deep sense of belonging to their school and community, and builds a love of learning.”