Colorado Department of Early Childhood Awards $15.3 Million to 1,141 Universal Preschool Colorado Providers through Capacity Building Grants
All providers participating in Universal Preschool Colorado may apply for the grants
DENVER — The Colorado Department of Early Childhood recently awarded 1,141 Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado providers more than $15.3 million in the first round of Capacity Building Grants using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that were requested in the Governor’s Budget and approved by the legislature. The Capacity Building Grants fund education materials and supplies, health care materials and supplies, technology, furniture, and site infrastructure.
“We are preparing to welcome the first class of universal preschool this fall, and these exciting grants help to ensure preschool providers have the resources they need. From funding for education materials and school supplies to technology and furniture, these grants help give Colorado kids the strong start they need to thrive in school and beyond,” said Gov. Polis.
“We are so pleased with the number of providers who have already applied for the Universal Preschool Capacity Building Grants,” said Dr. Lisa Roy, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood. “By supporting providers with these grants, we are helping them improve their programs, which results in a stronger foundation for all Colorado children. We encourage all remaining eligible providers to apply for a grant in the next round.”
All providers that are participating in Universal Preschool Colorado are eligible to receive the one-time grant. Grant awards are determined based on the use categories selected during the application process. With 2,010 providers currently participating in Universal Preschool Colorado, 57 percent of providers took advantage of the funding opportunity in the first round.
A second round of grants will be awarded during the 2023-24 fiscal year with an additional $18.8 million available for Universal Preschool Colorado participating providers. All licensed child care providers in the state can sign up to participate in UPK Colorado during the 2023-24 school year through the end of August and would be eligible for the grant.
UPK Colorado is the state-funded high-quality, voluntary mixed delivery preschool program available to every Colorado child in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten. Families that participate in UPK Colorado save $6,000 per year on average.
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood ensures the delivery of a comprehensive, community-informed, data-driven, high-quality and equitable early childhood system that supports the care, education and well-being of all Colorado’s young children, their families and early childhood professionals in all settings.
Learn more about the Colorado Department of Early Childhood at cdec.colorado.gov.