Nearly 19,000 Families Accepted Matches in First Round of Universal Preschool Colorado, Saving Coloradans $114 Million

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Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Hope Shuler |

Families have until May 17 to apply or update selections before second round of matching begins

DENVER — With the first round of Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado complete, close to 19,000 families accepted their provider matches. Families that participate in UPK Colorado save $6,000 per year on average, equating to nearly $114 million in savings that families around Colorado will be able to put towards everyday use.

Families that declined their first-round match or didn’t match to a provider in the first round have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17 to submit new program choices and go through the second round of matching. Additional providers have joined Universal Preschool Colorado and certain participating providers have added additional seats since the first round process. Coloradans can also work directly with their Local Coordinating Organization, which can help them find a program where there are current openings available.

Roughly 15,000 families are expected to be matched with providers in the second round through the deferred acceptance algorithm to participate in the state-funded high-quality, voluntary mixed delivery preschool program available to every child in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten.

Families seeking to participate in Universal Preschool Colorado that have not yet applied can continue to sign up and make provider rankings for their child. Those that apply before the May 17 deadline will have the best chance at being matched to a provider of their choice, as those applications will be matched in the second round. However, enrollment will continue on a rolling basis after the first round, so families can log in to UPK.Colorado.Gov to find a provider in their area. There is no deadline to sign up.

Free universal preschool is estimated to save families thousands of dollars every year and will put Colorado’s youngest learners on the path to success. There are 1,907 providers to date that have chosen to participate in this program that will help save families money.

The mobile-friendly online application includes family-friendly features like text and email status updates available in English, Spanish and Arabic.


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.