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May 7, 2023

House Passes Support for Universal Preschool Providers

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation to provide one-time bonuses for universal preschool providers.  

“With Universal Preschool on the horizon, we’re making sure providers know that we’re grateful for their tireless efforts to educate our youngest learners,” said Rep. Meghan Lukens, D-Steamboat Springs. “This bipartisan bill will help recruit more providers and will send preschool providers a bonus to help them renovate spaces, purchase new educational materials, and support their staff. Without our providers it would be impossible to implement free, high-quality universal preschool for our children, and this bill provides them with a much needed thank you.” 

Supporting Universal Preschool Providers: SB23-269, sponsored by Representative Meghan Lukens and Mary Bradfield, passed the House by a vote of 50 to 14.  This bill invests $2.5 million in bonus payments for Universal Preschool (UPK) providers to support their programs, staff and facilities.  

This bill would provide one-time bonus payments for early childhood care providers participating in Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program. The bonuses must be used to implement the UPK, or to maintain or expand infant and toddler care capacity. This bill will help ensure there are enough providers in the state so that all families who want to participate in UPK can choose the right setting for their child, and provides support to child care providers in licensed community-based and home-based programs who are participating in state-run preschools for the first time.

Recently, the Polis administration announced that more than 25,000 families who signed up for the first round of UPK Colorado have been matched with a provider, with more than 90-percent being matched with one of their top five providers. It is estimated that families who participate in UPK Colorado will save $6,000 per year. UPK sign up is available online on a rolling basis.

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