- Colorado Peak
The Colorado Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK) is designed to provide families with a modern and easily accessible tool to apply for public assistance benefits. PEAK allows you to apply online and check your eligibility for financial, educational or medical assistance by using the Am I Eligible tool.
Over time, the Department of Early Childhood will work toward streamlining the applications for many of these programs so they are accessible and interoperable with the application for Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program. Further details will be shared as they become available.
Programs currently offered through Colorado PEAK include, but are not limited to:
The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to families who are working, searching for employment, or are in job training, and families who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. CCCAP provides access to reduced cost child care at licensed child care facilities or qualified (unlicensed) providers.
Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide your children and family with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to your family until your child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program.
LEAP is designed to help low-income households with winter home heating costs. The program operates from November 1st through April 30th each year. Eligible households receive one benefit per program year. Since LEAP is not intended to pay the entire costs of home heating, it is important to keep current with payment of your heating bill.
Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to eligible children, through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs. Medicaid provides health coverage to low-income people and is one of the largest payers for health care in the United States. CHIP provides federal matching funds to states to provide health coverage to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who can't afford private coverage.
In Colorado, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is known as the Food Assistance Program. The purpose of the federally-funded Food Assistance Program is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among low-income households by increasing their food purchasing power. Eligible households who apply receive a monthly benefit allotment. Households can redeem their allotment for food items only using an Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) card.
In Colorado, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is known as Colorado Works. It is a cash assistance program designed to assist eligible families with very low incomes to attain economic security by promoting job preparation, work, and family stabilization. Applicants who are either pregnant or have at least one child, and who meet other eligibility requirements, can receive monthly cash assistance payments, help with emergency household expenses, and/or services such as counseling, training, and employment assistance. The Colorado Works Program operates in all 64 counties and is delivered locally through each county's department of human or social services.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition program that provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, healthy food and other services free of charge to Colorado families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy. For more information, click here.
- Other Assistance Programs for Families and Children
Child Find is part of Colorado's system for identifying children suspected of having a delay in development. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or someone is concerned about the child’s growth or learning, child find teams will evaluate how the child plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if there is a significant delay or if there is a need for early intervention or special education services.
Preschool special education is a state and federal mandated program for three- and four-year-old children who meet state eligibility criteria for special education and are experiencing challenges in their learning and development. A child is eligible if they have a significant delay in one or more areas of development, such as learning, speaking or playing.
Looking for information about family planning or where to find free or reduced-price birth control? Title X family planning clinics can help you. View patient services and clinics in your area.
With a singular purpose to end homelessness, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless moves Coloradans into safe homes, keeps families together, and provides critical health care and support services for people experiencing homelessness. The Coalition provides more than 13,000 men, women, and children with medical and mental health care, and each night more than 2,300 families and individuals have a place to call home in Coalition housing.
The Colorado Department of Education developed a new resource for parents and caregivers. It is dedicated to providing information on special education issues, practices and resources to families who have children with disabilities.
Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) is a federal program whose purpose is to help prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, improve the quality of care and services to children and their families, and ensure permanency for children by reuniting them with their parents, by adoption or by another permanent living arrangement. States receive PSSF funding for services that address: family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification and adoption promotion and support.
What is Child Support Services?
- Child Support Services is a free program offered to parents/caretakers of children wanting help establishing and collecting child support funds and medical insurance.
- Child Support Services is not mandatory but a highly encouraged program, you may sign up for child support at any time through their free online application.
The benefits of signing up for child support services are:
- If you do not have an existing child support order, they can help you establish parentage and a current support order and medical support order.
- Establishing Paternity gives children legal access to certain Social Security death and disability benefits, can help identify some medical predispositions and help engage the father further in a child’s life.
- Your child support order will be managed by a child support professional and monitored for enforcement action as appropriate.
- Payments will be tracked and an official record will be maintained for your reference.
- It is cheaper than going to court and paying filing fees on your own!
- You have a case manager to discuss your family’s needs and a connection to local resources to help meet those needs.
- You do not need an attorney but if you have one already you are welcome to keep them as a resource.