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Information for Families

What is the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)?

  • CPP is a state-funded, district-run, preschool program. CPP is intended to serve preschool-aged children in Colorado who are at risk for starting elementary school unprepared due to individual or family factors. 
    • CPP allows eligible children to attend a half-day of high-quality preschool at no cost to families. 
  • CPP provides support services for families. Families are a large part of a child’s learning experience. CPP helps support you in your role as a parent or guardian. 

To find out about CPP options in your community, use the Family Contact Directory.

Why Preschool?

Your child’s early years are important. The brain forms 700-1,000 new connections each second during the first few years of life, faster than any other time in their life. These connections form the building blocks for important brain functions like self-control, working memory, and mental flexibility (The Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University). Children who attend quality preschool programs are more likely to do well in school and less likely to drop out later.

Colorado Shines is the state’s quality rating and improvement system through the Department of Human Services. The How To Help You Find Quality Care link can help you to identify the best childcare solution for you and your family.

Girl playing at dramatic play center

Frequently Asked Questions

Is My Child Eligible?

  • Child and family qualifying factors that affect overall learning readiness must be present in a child’s life in order for a child to be fit for CPP. These factors are determined by the legislature and are not based on income alone. Learn more about legislated eligibility criteria.

How Old Does My Child Have to Be to Qualify?

  • To qualify for CPP, children must be at least 3-years-old by Oct. 1 (or the district's eligibility/cut off date).
    • The eligibility date for preschool is the same as the eligibility date for kindergarten in your district.
  • If a child is 3-years-old, the child must have three significant family risk factors in their life that put him or her at risk for later school challenges. 
  • If a child is served as a 4- or 5-year-old, the child must be eligible for kindergarten the next year and have 1 significant family risk factor present in their lives. They may only participate in CPP for one year.
    • If a child is old enough to attend kindergarten, they cannot be funded by CPP for a second year in preschool.

If We Move, Will My Child Stay in CPP?

  • Since each school district manages its own program, your child’s spot in CPP cannot be transferred.
    • If you move to a new school district, you will need to go through the enrollment process again in the new district. Because resources are limited, availability for placement cannot be guaranteed when a family moves from district to district.

How Do I Apply?

  • School district councils determine eligibility and enrollment for CPP for their particular district.
  • Find the school district contact  who can help you with enrollment.

Not Sure of your School District?

If you are not sure in which school district you live, please contact a Colorado Preschool Regional Support Specialist for assistance.

More Information about High Quality Preschool

Resources to help find the best preschool solution for your family