Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado

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Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado allows families to choose the right setting for their child, whether it is in a licensed community-based, school-based or home-based preschool setting. Families of children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten, and qualifying 3-year-olds, can apply now for UPK Colorado for the 2023-24 school year.

UPK Colorado is not a first-come, first-served program. Applications are currently being accepted. You can begin your application at any time and return to it as many times as you like before submitting. 

Qualifying 3-year-olds - Families of 3-year-old students with at least one qualifying factor, wishing to send their child to a program run by a school district, will not be able to select a specific school location and should select the school district where they reside. School districts will match 3-year-olds in a separate process.

Eligibility - Some participating school districts around Colorado have local Board of Education adopted policies allowing for alternative dates for kindergarten eligibility. If you live in one of those districts and your child is showing as ineligible in the State application portal, please reach out to your LCO to ensure you are placed for matching in that school district.

Read more on our UPK Family Information page.

Apply for UPK Colorado
The family application process is open.

Does this mean I can only get up to 15 hours of preschool every week?

No, you can apply for many types of programs. Your options include full-day, part-day (AM/PM), and extended day. Up to 15 hours of that program will be free to you each week.

What happens if I need more than 15 hours of free, voluntary preschool every week?

Families with certain qualifying factors are eligible for additional hours stacked on top of the up to 15 hours available to every 4-year-old, pending eligibility confirmation and available funding.

Can I apply for any program in any location?

If you are applying for a preschool program at a school, you may need to be a resident in that district. For example, you may not be accepted into a school-based program near your place of work as the school will need you to be a resident in that location.

Depending on a provider’s resources, there may be additional constraints for certain providers.

What documents will I need to apply?

You will only need to provide proof of income to submit your application.

Proof of age and proof of residency will be collected as part of the registration process with the provider you receive an offer from.

You can contact your local coordinating organization for support in document upload if needed.

I'm a provider, how can I participate?

Providers who are licensed to support preschool-aged children are able to participate. In addition, providers will need to sign a provider participation agreement. Speak with your local coordinating organization to begin your registration process.

Read more on our Provider FAQ.

Comprehensive UPK Colorado Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact Us
Have more questions or need help with UPK Colorado? Contact us at cdec_upkcolorado@state.co.us
 or 303-866-5223.

NOTE: The information provided generally relates to preschool general education. Preschool special education may involve additional or different standards and requirements. Click here for more information on UPK Colorado and special education.