Leaders encourage Colorado parents sign up for universal preschool by Feb. 14

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:09 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -Applications have been open for Colorado’s new universal preschool program for about two weeks, and leaders say parents who want to sign up who have not already should sooner rather than later.

While the application will not close, program leaders say preschools will reach capacities. Parents can rank their top five preschools in the application.

“This program has been used in other states and over 90% of families get matched to their first choice and so we hope we will be able to do that in Colorado as well, but it does depend on the capacity that providers have,” said Dawn Odean, Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program Director.

In order to get the preschool you want for your child, leaders suggest applying by Feb. 14. That’s because applications submitted up until that date will be part of the first round of pairing families with providers.

Applications submitted after Feb. 14 will be part of the next round of pairing, and that process will be ongoing as applications come in, leaders say.

20,000 applications have already been submitted, while there are about 60,000 eligible children in Colorado, according to the Department of Early Childhood.

One of the most common issues leaders say they’ve seen since the application website went live is parents trying to apply for children who are too young. The program is meant for children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten, and any preschool time before that does not qualify. That means four year olds and some three year olds qualify.