How to Choose a Preschool

Quality Preschool can help your child get a strong start on the path to lifelong learning.

How do you know where to begin?

When attending an early childhood education program, the quality of the program matters. With over 250 preschool partners, Denver Preschool Program offers a variety of options across the Denver area. These options range from family child care homes and center-based programs, to preschool classrooms in Denver Public Schools. Regardless of the exact setting or type of program, all of our preschool partners are licensed and undergo a rigorous quality rating process. That process includes an evaluation of positive interactions between teachers and students, professional training, the classroom environment, class size, accessible hours, cultural sensitivity, and connections for health screenings and support services.

This means that DPP is making the process easier, providing you with peace of mind that in choosing a DPP-participating school, your student is receiving the highest quality education. Now, let’s find the perfect school for your family!

6 steps to choose the best preschool for your child

  1. Use our online Find a Preschool tool to check out the location, description, hours of operation, contact information and quality rating of our preschool partners.
  2. Schedule a visit with your child so you can see how your child feels in the preschool and how staff relates to your child.
  3. Use our checklist below as a guide on your visit.
  4. Determine if you want to participate in UPK Colorado; if so, apply at and rank your top-choice schools.
  5. Accept your UPK Colorado match and enroll at your matched preschool. If you choose not to participate in UPK Colorado, you can enroll at your preschool if there’s an opening.
  6. Get help with tuition costs by applying for DPP tuition credits.
    Once enrolled in one of DPP’s preschool partner’s programs, all Denver families can sign up for tuition support with the Denver Preschool Program.

Preschool Visit Checklist

You can also download a copy of this Preschool Visit checklist as a PDF to print and take with you.


  • Remember, first impressions matter. When you walk into the preschool with your child is your first impression positive? Watch your child’s response. Did adults acknowledge your child or just focus on other adults?
  • Observe how teachers interact with children. Are they at children’s eye level when they talk to them? Do they appear responsive to individual children by listening closely, asking questions and using positive language?
  • It is important that your child’s classroom has a variety of age-appropriate learning materials, toys and equipment. Are there places for quiet time and an area for dramatic play?
  • Does the classroom seem clean and safe with enough adults to supervise children?

Ask Questions

  • What is the school’s philosophy about how children learn?
  • What is the school’s approach to children’s behavior and discipline?
  • How do activities promote social-emotional and intellectual growth and stimulate creativity?
  • Is there space and materials to promote a wide range of developmental activities from holding a pencil or cup to running and jumping?
  • Walk around the room and ask the teacher what the child is learning from different activity centers.
  • Since no two children are at the same stage of development, how does the teacher support individual children in their learning?
  • Do children have their own place to keep their special things?
  • What is the daily schedule? Does the preschool offer activities your child would like to participate in and is there time for your child to explore?
  • How does the school communicate with families and how often?
  • Can you visit the classroom at any time?
  • Ask to talk to parents who have a child in the school.

We’re here to help you find and pay for a high-quality preschool near you. For questions about the Denver Preschool Program, or for assistance signing up for tuition support, contact us 303.595.4DPP (377) or