Breaking News
More () »

Universal pre-K student matches extended after 29,000 families apply

After more than 29,000 families applied to the pre-K program, the state said it will now release student matches on April 26, a month from the original date.

DENVER — Families were supposed to find out on Thursday what preschool their child was matched up with through Colorado's Universal Preschool (UPK) program, but parents will wait a bit longer for the announcement. 

The state-funded UPK program is set to launch this fall, and more than 29,000 families applied their pre-K students to 1,808 providers across the state in the program. 

Because of the large response, the state said it will now release pre-K student matches on April 26 -- a month from the original date of March 30.

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) said in a news release they want to "maximize the likelihood of families receiving their first or second choice, allow for additional time that will enable providers to fully consider their capabilities to expand their offerings in the coming school year, and give families the opportunity to fine-tune their preferences."

The program said it will help save families money and increase access to pre-K education. 



In February, the state extended an application deadline and gave families who had already selected their provider another week to reevaluate their choice.

The system will continue to be open to new families to apply throughout the spring, summer and into fall on a rolling basis. 

As part of the UPK program, every 4-year-old child enrolled will receive up to 15 hours of preschool per week in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. Up to 30 hours of free preschool will be available for children with one or more qualifying factors, pending availability and funding.

Three-year-olds with one or more qualifying factors are eligible for 10 hours.

Those qualifying factors include:

  • Household incomes under 270% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Having an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Housing status
  • Dual language learner
  • Foster/kinship care

Families with 3- or 4-year-olds in need of special education preschool services can register on upk.colorado.gov and select if your child has an IEP. Families with 3-year-olds will then select the school district they live in and will be contacted by the district directly to determine enrollment in a specific school.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Education stories from 9NEWS  


Watch more from 9NEWS on the free 9NEWS+ app for Roku and Fire TV.      

9NEWS+ has multiple live daily shows including 9NEWS Mornings, Next with Kyle Clark and 9NEWS+ Daily, an original streaming program. 9NEWS+ is where you can watch live breaking news, weather updates, and press conferences. You can also replay recent newscasts and find videos on demand of our top stories, local politics, investigations and Colorado specific features.      

To download 9NEWS+ on Roku search for KUSA.       

To download 9NEWS+ on Fire TV search for 9NEWS.     

RELATED: Watch 9NEWS for free on ROKU, Apple TV, Fire TV  

Before You Leave, Check This Out