More funds make it possible for Denver 4-year-olds of all socioeconomic backgrounds to receive high-quality early education
As part of its ongoing mission to improve preschool access and affordability, the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) will increase DPP’s Tuition Credit Scale for the 2023-2024 school year by nearly 15 percent. The additional funding will provide more tuition support to Denver families, further expanding the opportunity for all Denver 4-year-olds to enroll in a quality-rated preschool program of their family’s choice.
“Tuition support is a valuable benefit for all families,” said Elsa Holguín, president and chief executive officer of DPP. “Thanks to the ongoing support of Denver taxpayers, this further increases the likelihood of a family taking advantage of early childhood education opportunities, which gives their child a chance to learn, grow, become ready for kindergarten and ultimately have a brighter future.”
About DPP’s Preschool Tuition Support
As with prior years, the majority of DPP funds are allocated to the tuition credit scale to help all Denver families with a 4-year-old, regardless of income, pay for preschool at one of DPP’s 260 affiliated programs. Funds are provided by a dedicated 0.15 percent sales tax first approved by Denver voters in 2006 and reauthorized in 2014 to extend to 2026.
The Denver Preschool Program’s tuition credit scale is designed so families with the greatest financial need who have a child attending a preschool of the highest quality will receive the most tuition support. For example, a family of four that earns less than $40,500 per year with a child enrolled full-time at a quality level four provider will receive $967 per month ($11,604/program year) compared to a family of four at the same provider that earns more than $120,000 per year that will receive $193 per month ($2,316/program year). The tuition support is distributed directly to the child’s school on the family’s behalf.
In addition to supporting 4-year-olds, DPP plans to continue its pilot program Preschool for 3s to provide tuition credits for a limited number of Denver 3-year-olds. Details about the program will be shared later this spring.
DPP Tuition Support Applications Accepted Year-Round
Tuition credits are available to all families that reside within the City and County of Denver and have a 4-year-old enrolled in a participating preschool in the year before kindergarten. The amount of support a family receives is based on the family’s income, the quality rating of the chosen preschool and the length of day a child attends.
Preschools are rated for quality by Colorado Shines on a scale from one to five, with level five representing the highest quality. Family income is represented in five tiers and is determined by household size and annual earnings.
The Denver Preschool Program accepts tuition support applications year-round; however, families are encouraged to explore their preschool options now for the upcoming school year using DPP’s Find a Preschool Tool.
Families can apply online at: https://find.dpp.org/applications/eefc0e97-4687-4fb2-9c40-9d4f015e8b20/new/
The 2023-2024 Tuition Credit Calculator can be found at: https://dpp.org/sign-up-for-tuition-support/how-we-calculate-your-tuition-credit/
DPP Complements Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado
With the launch of UPK Colorado, families living in Denver are in a unique position in that they can apply for both UPK Colorado and DPP to maximize preschool tuition support, as these two funding sources can be layered.
“DPP’s tuition credits help to off-set the cost of care year-round including extended day and summer programming for all Denver 4-year-olds,” Holguín commented. “Our tuition credit model complements UPK Colorado which funds up to 15 hours per week from August 2023 through May 2024 for all Colorado 4-year-olds.” She continued, “For Denver families with the greatest need, the layering of these two funding sources may mean that the entire qualifying cost of preschool is covered.”
About Denver Preschool Program
Denver Preschool Program is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the early childhood education system by championing, funding, and increasing access to quality education for all of Denver’s young learners. DPP makes quality preschool possible for all Denver families with 4-year-old children through a dedicated sales tax first approved by
voters in 2006 and renewed in 2014. DPP has provided more than $168 million in tuition support to help nearly 70,000 Denver children attend the preschool of their family’s choice, establishing each child’s foundation for lifelong learning and success. In addition, DPP was recently named Denver’s Local Coordinating Organization (LCO) for the Colorado Universal Preschool Program, scheduled to launch in the 2023-2024 school year.