Universal Preschool (UPK) allows families to choose the right setting for their child, whether it is in a licensed community- based, school-based or home-based preschool. Families of children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten, and qualifying 3-year-olds, can apply for UPK Colorado for the 2023-24 school year.
WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
This program provides a tuition credit, reducing your cost of child care.
UPK Providers will use an evidenced based curriculum, working with quality navigators to implement preschool education.
Preschool is designed to help students be academically and emotionally prepared for future learning.
CHOSE THE RIGHT SETTING FOR YOUR CHILD
Whether it is in a licensed community-based, school- based or home-based preschool.
CAN MY CHILD USE THIS PROGRAM?
All 4 Year Olds or Year Before Kindergarten are Eligible
No qualifying factors are required to be eligible for 15 hours
3 Year Olds with Low Income and One or More Qualifying Factor(s)
10 hours available through a school district
4 Year Olds with Low Income and one or More Qualifying Factors(s)
For 30 hours at any UPK location
Participating UPK Providers in
• Young Tracks
• Steamboat Montessori
• Discovery Learning Center
• Steamboat Springs School District: Soda Creek Preschool, Sleeping Giant Preschool, Strawberry Park Preschool
• Hayden Valley Preschool
How Do I Get Started?
APPLY AT UPK.COLORADO.GOV AND REGISTER FOR UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL.
THE APPLICATION CAN BE DONE ON A COMPUTER OR PHONE IN ABOUT 15 MINUTES.
You can begin your application at any time and return to it as many times as you like before submitting. If you have already submitted your application and need to make changes, contact your Local Coordinating Organization (LCO).
Do you have questions or need assistance with your application? Reach out, we are here to support you!
We are your LOC!
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DOES THE FUNDING WORK?
Once the application is completed and you are matched to a provider the provider will be given a tuition credit for the amount of hours you qualify for. This credit will be for a 9 month school year. No funding will go directly to a parent or guardian.
DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS IF I HAVE MULTIPLE PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN MY HOME?
No, the application has a section where you can add another child.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED FOR THE APPLICATION?
You might be asked for proof of a qualifying factor, like income. This can be uploaded by a file on your computer or a picture on your phone.
"I FINISHED THE APPLICATION, NOW WHAT?"
The UPK system will attempt to match you to a preferred provider. Watch your email for further communication.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PROVIDER IS PARTICIPATING?
In upk.colorado.gov you will be able to search what providers are available based on where you live and where you work. During the application you will be able to select your top five providers and rank them. All types of providers will be in the system from school districts to child-care centers to licensed home facilities. You will be asked if your child is already enrolled at a provider, has a sibling in a provider’s care or if a parent is employed by the provider – If any of these are true, you will receive priority to match with that provider.
WHAT IF I USE OTHER WAYS TO HELP COVER CHILD CARE COSTS?
COVER CHILD CARE COSTS?
We encourage you to speak with your program to discuss options. Universal Preschool can be combined with other programs to further reduce costs.
Wondering How Students are Matched to Their Preschool for Colorado Universal Preschool?
By using an algorithm, students are matched to schools based on their unique priorities and preferred preschools, ensuring that every child has access to high-quality early education.
Check out this video to see the entire process in action!