The Denver Preschool Program (DPP), a voter-approved nonprofit that helps Denver families find and pay for high-quality preschool, announced a new initiative that will cover the full cost of preschool for eligible families that earn 300% or less of the federal poverty level. This initiative is in addition to the existing universal tuition support that the Denver Preschool Program has provided to families since 2007.
According to Elsa Holguín, Denver Preschool Program President and CEO, the launch of this initiative comes at an opportune time as families continue to struggle with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our goal has always been to provide Denver families with access to affordable, quality preschool options,” says Holguín. She adds, “The opportunity to cover up to 100% of tuition costs for families removes the financial barrier some families face when they enroll their 4-year-olds in a quality-rated preschool.”
All families in the city and county of Denver enrolled in one of the Denver Preschool Program’s 250+ participating preschools are eligible for tuition support during their child’s last year of preschool. The tuition support provided to families by the DPP is based on a number of factors including income, the number of hours the child is enrolled at the school and the quality rating of the selected preschool.
Initiative Will Cover Cost of Preschool for Eligible Families
In order to receive free preschool, a family of four must make $47,638 per year or less, enroll their 4-year-old full time in a participating preschool and not receive any other financial assistance for early childhood education. Feedback from an initial pilot conducted last school year that provided more than 50 families with expanded tuition support has been favorable. In addition to giving families greater choices, the additional funding enhanced their overall economic position. Says the mother of one participant, “DPP, thank you! Thank you! You have helped me incredibly during a transitional year for our family. Our child is receiving an outstanding preschool education we would not have otherwise afforded. Without this program, we would have likely pulled her out of [preschool] and her education would have been compromised.”
Research shows that high-quality preschool programs can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. Not only do they promote academic, social and emotional growth, but they also give families and teachers an opportunity to identify and treat potential learning problems early. DPP aims to help families manage the $1,277 per month average cost of preschool at DPP-participating schools, while also assisting preschools enrolled in the program achieve and maintain high-quality ratings. This support is particularly important today as families struggle with rising unemployment rates and limited job opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Learn more at www.dpp.org.
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