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More languages added to the Universal Preschool Program online registration system

Universal Preschool Registration Portal
Posted at 11:27 AM, Jul 04, 2024

DENVER — More languages are now available for Colorado's Universal Preschool Program online registration system in order to reach more families and expand access to early child care.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood Education (CDEC) announced that the online registration system now has 11 languages available for non-English speaking families. In the prior 2023-24 registration period, the online system only had English, Spanish, and Arabic language options. The system now has the following:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Arabic
  4. Chinese (simplified)
  5. Russian
  6. Vietnamese
  7. German
  8. Korean
  9. Hindi
  10. Portuguese
  11. French

“Early care and education is a cornerstone of child development, and language should not be a barrier to access in Colorado,” said CDEC’s executive director Dr. Lisa Roy. “Adding these languages to the registration process brings us one step closer to a more universal program for children and families across Colorado.”

CDEC officials said these languages were picked as they represent a combined 97.79% of what is spoken across the state in Colorado homes. The state used the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 data for this information.

What is the Universal Preschool Program?

The Colorado Universal Preschool Program offers all families in Colorado the opportunity to get up to 15 hours of early childhood education and care for free.

Ways to Stack Your Universal Preschool Benefits

Families who qualify will have the opportunity for more free hours. The program works with school districts to provide care to families. In Southern Colorado, there are a total of 20 districts participating so far in the program based on the registration portal.

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Browsing for providers for the Universal Preschool Program.

Who pays for the Universal Preschool Program?

The Universal Preschool Program was initially funded and approved by voters with the passage of Proposition EE in 2020. This established a tax revenue stream based on the tax of nicotine and tobacco products.

The funding for these programs was again approved in November of 2023 with the passage of Proposition II. Proposition II was born after the state had expected Proposition EE would bring in $186.5 million in revenue. It ended up generating $208 million, around $24 million more than expected.

Under the Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) voters had to decide what to do with this excess revenue collected under the tax. Voters chose to put the excess money towards the Universal Preschool program.

Had voters struck the proposition down, the state would have had to refund wholesalers and distributors of tobacco and nicotine products instead of receiving the refund themselves on a TABOR check.

Click here to learn more about the Universal Preschool Program.

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