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Denver Preschool Program is expanding free preschool to 3-year-olds

Tuition credits for qualifying families
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Posted at 8:32 AM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 10:32:29-04

A free preschool program in Denver is expanding to offer thousands more slots starting in September 2021.

For the first time ever, the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is expanding to serve 3-year-old children. Since it was approved by taxpayers in 2006, DPP has provided free or preschool for 4-year-olds on a sliding fee scale.

“Unlike our traditional program, the preschool for 3s is going to prioritize families in financial need,” said Elsa Holguin, president and CEO of the Denver Preschool Program.

DPP is extending $5 million in credits to families with 3-year-old children. Qualifying families will have 100% of their tuition covered for full day preschool for two years, including summers.

Holguin said while the universal preschool is a growing topic nationwide, DPP has been a model since its inception.

“Our first cohort is graduating from high school this year, so we have the proof that this works,” Holguin said.

She said their research shows children who attend quality preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and four times more likely to get a college degree.

DPP works with 250 different providers, including DPS schools, private centers and home-based childcare providers.

Families interested in applying for tuition credits can visit DPP's website, or call 303-595-4377. DPP also has help for non-English speakers to enroll.