Qualifying Factors

Families with certain qualifying factors are eligible for more hours stacked on top of the half-day (up to 15 hours) available to every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. 

Qualifying factors include:

  • Household income below 270% of the 2023 federal poverty guideline
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Homelessness
  • Dual language learner
  • Foster/Kinship care


How do qualifying factors work for 4-year-olds?

Any child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten who has one or more of the qualifying factors is eligible for additional hours of free preschool, pending verification and funding.

How do qualifying factors work for 3-year-olds?

Only 3-year-olds who have one or more of the qualifying factors listed above will be able to enroll with the program for part-time preschool services.

What is the family income threshold?

The family income threshold is below 270% the Federal Poverty level, based upon your household’s gross annual income. Currently, the income thresholds by household size are:

  • 1 - $36,693.00
  • 2 - $49,437.00
  • 3 - $62,181.00
  • 4 - $74,925.00
  • 5 - $87,669.00
  • 6 - $100,413.00
  • 7 - $113,157.00
  • 8 - $125,901.00
  • 9 - $130,620.96
  • 10 - $135,340.92
  • 11 - $140,060.88
  • 12 - $144,780.84
What kind of documents can I upload for proof of income?

Documents that are accepted to show household income include:

  • Jobs: Paycheck stub or pay envelope that shows the amount and how often pay is received; letter from employer stating gross wages and how often you are paid (this statement of earnings form may be used); or, if you work for yourself, business or farming papers, such as ledger or tax books.
  • Social Security, Pensions, or Retirement: Social Security retirement benefit letter, statement of benefits received, or pension award notice.
  • Unemployment, Disability, or Worker’s Compensation: Notice of eligibility from State employment security office, check stub, or letter from the Worker’s Compensation office.
  • TANF Payments: Benefit letter from the State TANF office.
  • Child Support or Alimony: Court decree, agreement, or copies of checks received.
  • All Other Income (Such as Rental Income): Information that shows the amount of the income, name of the person who received the income, the date it was received, and how often it was received. 
  • Military Housing Privatization Initiative: Letter or rental contract showing that your housing is part of the Military Privatized Housing Initiative. 

If you do not have income, please send a brief note explaining how you provide food, clothing, and housing for your household, and when you expect an income.

What is the definition of homelessness as a qualifying factor?

For UPK Colorado, the definition of homelessness is having a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; or, is a child who is migratory who qualifies as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the child is living in circumstances described in this definition.

Have questions or need help? Contact us at cdec_upkcolorado@state.co.us or 303-866-5223.
Comprehensive UPK Colorado Frequently Asked Questions.