UPK is running weekly rounds of enrollment. The closing date is still to be determined. As a reminder you may access the State’s application to apply for Round 3: Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado application.
amilies can begin their application at any time and return to it as many times as needed before submitting.
Round 2 of family matching for UPK Colorado is closed. Families who submitted or revised applications between February 24 – May 17, 2023, were included in the second round of matching.
Families were notified either by email or text message, whichever was used to create an account.
The finalized SchoolChoice Round 1 results were posted for DPS families on Saturday, April 22. Please check the portal to see your student’s placement if you participated in Round 1.
Round 2 of SchoolChoice opened Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m. and will remain open until August 31, 2023. Round 2 of SchoolChoice is on a first-come, first-served basis, within school priority groups, and is for families who missed Round 1; took part in Round 1 but want to re-explore their options; or are new to DPS for next school year. Get more information about Round 2.
Note: ECE4 enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is managed by UPK Colorado. Round 2 does not apply for ECE4.
SchoolChoice Hotline: 720-423-3493
Hotline hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Here’s how it works:
Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, families in Colorado can receive at least 15 hours per week of free, voluntary preschool for 4 year olds through the Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado program. 3 year olds with qualifying factors are eligible for 10 free hours per week. UPK Colorado is administered by the newly-created Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC).
UPK Colorado is not a first-come, first-served program. Students are matched to programs in rounds. The first round ended on February 24th. However, you can begin your application at any time and return to it as many times as you like before submitting. If you have already submitted your application and need to make changes, contact your Local Coordinating Organization (LCO).
Qualifying 3-year-olds – Families of 3-year-old students with at least one qualifying factor, wishing to send their child to a program run by a school district, will not be able to select a specific school location and should select the school district where they reside. School districts will match 3 year olds in a separate process.
Eligibility – Some participating school districts around Colorado have local Board of Education adopted policies allowing for alternative dates for kindergarten eligibility. If you live in one of those districts and your child is showing as ineligible in the State application portal, please reach out to your LCO to ensure you are placed for matching in that school district.
Some families may be eligible for additional hours of free preschool based on various factors, including income. Families seeking additional hours based on income are required to submit proof of income documentation.
If you need help adding a document to your application, contact your local coordinating organization for assistance. Your LCO can assist you with any part of your UPK Colorado application.
1. Apply on the DPS SchoolChoice website at https://dps.schoolmint.net/ between January 13 and February 14 (closes at 4:00 pm). Select up to 12 programs to which you would like to apply.
2.0Apply on the UPK website between January 17 and February 15 to see if you’re eligible for additional funding.
1. Apply on the DPS SchoolChoice website at https://dps.schoolmint.net/ between January 13 and February 14 (closes at 4:00 pm). You will not select schools here– your school choices will not be recorded unless you also complete the next step.
2. Apply on the UPK website between January 17 and February 15 to select the schools to which you would like to apply.
Families must complete both applications to apply to a DPS ECE program. Please note, the new state implemented process will not have a waitlist for ECE4 applications unlike the DPS ECE lottery system. As a state entity we must comply with the new CDEC program, and follow the guidance provided at the state level.
More information about the state’s inaugural Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado program can be found on https://cdec.colorado.gov/colorado-universal-preschool. We look forward to updating you as new details come in, and starting your child’s educational journey here at DPS. If you have questions during the new application process, please contact the CDEC at (800) 799 5876.
Learn more about the ECE and Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado registration process here.
Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours) of state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2023-23 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for part-time (10 hours) of preschool programming.
Every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours) of state-funded, voluntary preschool to support their preschool enrollment for the 2023-24 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for part-time (10 hours) of preschool programming.
Families of children in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten and 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.
No, you can apply for many types of programs. Your options include part-time, half-day, and full-day. Half-day (15 hours) of that program will go toward your total cost of care.
For example, if you are eligible for half-day, but need full-day care, the half-day portion is covered by UPK Colorado and the additional hours could be paid through Head Start, local funding, CCCAP or parent pay. Check with your provider to determine that amount, or review their rates on their application page.
If you are applying for a preschool program at a school, you may need to be a resident in that district.
For example, you may not be accepted into a school-based program near your place of work as the school may need you to be a resident in that location.
Proof of date of birth and residency will be collected as part of the registration process with the provider with whom you are matched.
You will need to provide proof of income with your application if you are applying for additional hours.
Certain families may need to provide a waiver for specific school districts in Denver and Canyon City if enrolling a child under 3. The LCO of these districts can support these families.
While searching for providers, families can filter for special accommodations. Providers are required to list what they are able to support. This includes things such as dietary restrictions, routine medication, language and physical supports, and a variety of other needs.
Please contact your school district to ensure IEP resource alignment.
We want to offer families a wide range of options for their providers. However, we will still have certain limitations for school-based providers. Families applying for a school-based provider may need to be a resident of that district.
You can submit an application anytime once the application opens on Jan. 17. Applications at the beginning of the year will be processed in rounds. This allows us to provide an equal opportunity for applicants to access providers of their choice. Once the rounds are completed, applications will be processed as they arrive.
Once your application is submitted and processed you will receive an offer from a provider from your list. This offer will guarantee your child or children a spot with that provider.
Our system will do its best to match you to your most preferred provider(s). If you are matched with a provider that no longer meets your needs, you will be able to reject that match. You may need to resubmit your application if you reject the match, depending on when the rejection is completed.
Yes, you can note that your child has a sibling with a provider that you have selected. We will take this into account to keep families and siblings together where possible.
Yes, you can note that you currently have a child enrolled with a provider that you have selected. We will take this into account to provide continuity of care where possible.
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For questions regarding programs or curriculum for ECE and Kindergarten, please call the Early Education Department at 720-423-2678.