Early Childhood Programs

Durango Schools 9R is committed to providing high-quality inclusive early childhood education to ensure that each student develops a lifelong love of learning, a deep sense of belonging to their classroom community and every child gets their individual needs met. Our program's foundation is built on nurturing and responsive relationships in an engaging environment while supporting the whole child's development.

Our program focuses on high-quality social and emotional learning, play-based, inquiry-designed opportunities that follow the student's interests and evoke a sense of wonder. We embedded pre-academic content through hands-on authentic learning opportunities. We use the Creative Curriculum which aligns with the Colorado Academic Standards and complete authentic assessments to inform our teaching and create individual learning plans based on each child's unique development, interests, strengths, and needs. 

Program Schedule

Each of our elementary schools offers a preschool program. Our programs follow the same school calendar and bell schedule as Durango Schools. Full-day program runs Monday-Friday. Mondays are early release days. Our half-day program is located at Needham Elementary and runs Tuesday-Friday. Morning sessions run 8-11 and afternoons run 12-3.


Program Eligibility

Our programs serve students the two years before kindergarten. Students who are 4 years of age by September 1st are prioritized for their school of residence. Students who turn 3 by September 1st are offered enrollment as spots are available. Each class is limited to 16 students and 2 teachers so space is limited. Please visit our 2024-2025 registration tab to complete a preschool interest form and the universal preschool application and learn more about our registration process.

Program Costs

You may qualify for tuition assistance through the Universal Preschool program (UPK). Please visit their website for more information: CO Universal Preschool. Universal Preschool may cover all, half or part of your child's tuition. We also accept CCAP to help offset the cost of tuition. Please visit financial and support services through La Plata County for more information regarding the Child Care Assistance Program.


2024-2025 Tuition Rates


Qualifying Tuition Support

Monthly Rate

30 hours of UPK tuition in full-day program $0
15 hours of UPK tuition in full-day program $445
10 hours of UPK tuition in full-day program $557
No tuition support in full-day program $780
Half day program  $286


For more information please contact Jennifer Baufield, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs at [email protected] or by calling 970-247-5411 ext. 1468.