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Colorado Universal Preschool

Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours), state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Families of children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten with certain qualifying factors, are eligible for an additional 15 hours stacked on top of the half-day programming, bringing those children to full- day programming. UPK Colorado allows families to choose the right setting for their child.

How To Claim This "Free Money"

Step 1

Complete your UPK Application 

  • You will need proof of date of birth and residency for your student 

  • On the “search” screen, you must type in your school’s name to select Primrose as your 1st choice to ensure continuity of care is marked as a priority to “match” to our Primrose school in the UPK system.  (If you do not do this, your child may not be “matched” with our Primrose School and may delay your ability to retain enrollment with us and benefit from the tuition credit offered by the state-wide UPK program.) 

  • Be sure to add all younger siblings in your household to further strengthen your “match” to our Primrose school 

Step 2

Once you are matched to our Primrose school in the UPK system, we will proceed with our Primrose Fall Registration process that you are already familiar with when we issue Fall Preferred Pre-Registration Packets in Mid-February.

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  • Enter your answer here
  • What are qualifying factors?
    Qualifying factors are child or family circumstances identified by CDEC as having the potential to negatively impact a child’s learning. The qualifying factors adopted in CDEC Rule are as follows: ●Child is identified as low-income (270% of 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines) ●Child is a dual-language learner and the native language spoken in the child’s home is a language other than English, or the child’s native language is not English. ●Child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP). ●Child is currently in the custody of a state supervised and county administered foster care home or in non-certified kinship care. ●Child is identified as homeless.
  • When will the UPK tuition credit be applied to my account?
    In real-time, meaning that as soon as the tuition is invoiced on the 15th of each month you will also see a tuition credit applied to that amount before the 20th due date.
  • Can I receive BOTH UPK funds and DPP funds?
    YES! Just apply for both! The Denver Preschool Program Tuition Credit Application
  • What if I currently receive other tuition assistance such as CCCAP or CCA, am I still eligible for UPK funding?
    Yes – these funding sources will stack together toward the total tuition rates charged.
  • How many state funded hours are available?
    Families can choose part-time (10 hours/week),or half-day (15 hours/week) of state funded preschool in the year before the child is eligible for kindergarten. Some children will be eligible for additional UPK hours bringing them to full day (30 hours) if they have at least one qualifying factor as described below. UPK Colorado eligibility is independent of a child’s eligibility for CCCAP, Head Start, or local preschool program funding, so families may layer these hours on top of their UPK allocation. Local Coordinating Organizations (LCOs) can help families to navigate the combination of different funding sources for a child’s care. Families are also welcome to work with providers to arrange additional self-funded hours as required.
  • Will I lose my PK/JrK spot if I do NOT apply for the UPK funds?
    Yes, that is possible. As a UPK provider, we advise the state of the maximum number of spots we can offer to 4-year-old students and the system matches applicants to our school with specific weight given to both the continuity of care and sibling(s) factors. Therefore, all spots might be taken by other UPK applicants if you do not apply. It is best to apply early – the UPK registration system opens January 17th!
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