DPP’s guiding principles serve as a north star, leading us into the future with purpose, vision, and alignment.
Every Denver child has equitable access to a strong foundation to thrive in kindergarten and beyond.
We transform the futures of young children and their families by strengthening and funding the early childhood experience.
At DPP, we are motivated by and accountable to our guiding values:
- Center in Equity, where DPP focuses on equity internally and externally to reduce and overcome barriers to ensure equitable opportunity for all children to participate in early childhood education, and contributes to an equitably compensated ECE workforce and workplace.
- Increase Access, where DPP combats systemic barriers so every young learner in Denver, especially those who encounter the most obstacles, has access to the benefits of quality early childhood education.
- Promote Choice, where parents and caregivers are well informed about early childhood education options and can make the best choice for their child regardless of factors that typically restrict choice, such as income or neighborhood.
- Lead Collaboratively, where DPP works alongside others to champion, innovate and strengthen early childhood education.
- Deliver Quality, where DPP listens to our community of families and providers to inform how we define and promote quality early childhood education and bring excellence in all aspects of DPP’s work to increase positive outcomes for Denver’s children.
Denver Preschool Program commits to taking bold action to help eliminate differences in educational, well-being, and health outcomes due to systemic racism, generational poverty, and discrimination through our role in early childhood education.
In service of the creation of a more equitable early childhood landscape and a more just world, we will:
- Grow our knowledge and awareness of inequities and their root cause.
- Drive access, choice, and quality in early childhood education.
- Advocate for systems-level policy changes that address harm.
- Lead in action and words with courage, tenacity, and accountability.
The Denver Preschool Program supports Denver families by offering tuition credits to increase access to high quality preschool.
Unlike most preschool tuition assistance programs, the Denver Preschool Program is for ALL Denver families, regardless of income or neighborhood.
Tuition credits are available to families that reside within the City and County of Denver and have a 4-year-old enrolled in a participating preschool program in the year before kindergarten. The amount of support a family receives is based on the family’s income, the quality rating of the preschool the child attends and the length of day a child attends. Learn more about tuition support.
Families can choose from more than 250 Denver preschools. Each school is rated for quality on a scale from 1 to 5. More than 80 percent of our preschool partners have earned a quality rating of Level 3 or higher.
The Denver Preschool Program works to improve the quality of preschool in Denver and is a national advocate for equal access to early childhood education. Learn more about quality improvement.
Preschool: More than Play
Our vision is for every child in Denver to enter kindergarten ready to reach their full potential. Studies show that children who attend high quality preschool programs are less likely to need special education services and be held back a grade level. They are also more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and have successful careers. .
Learn more about the benefits of preschool and the Denver Preschool Program and review our Strategic Plan.
DPP Funding & Operations
How is DPP funded?
Approved by Denver voters in 2006 and reauthorized in 2014 to extend to 2026, the Denver Preschool Program is funded by a .15 percent sales tax. Since our initial authorization in 2006, we have provided nearly $150 million in tuition support to 65,000 children.
How does DPP use its funds?
Approximately 80 percent of DPP’s funding is distributed to Denver families in the form of tuition credits and to preschool providers for quality improvement measures. DPP also dedicates a portion of its funds for community outreach to ensure local families of young children and preschools are aware of the program and its benefits. Furthermore, DPP uses its funds to conduct annual evaluations that analyze the outcomes of children who have participated in the program, as well as ensure DPP operations meet standards of excellence. By ordinance, administrative costs are limited to 7 percent of sales tax revenue.
Who manages DPP?
The Denver Preschool Program, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization created to operate the Denver Preschool Program under a contract with the City and County of Denver. The DPP Board of Directors provides oversight.
Where does the Denver Preschool Program operate?
The Denver Preschool Program only operates within the City and County of Denver.
 United States Department of Education (April, 2015) A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America https://www2.ed.gov/documents/early-learning/matter-equity-preschool-america.pdf Retrieved Jan. 17, 2017