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HomeEducation NewsState backs off additional 10 hours of preschool — for now

State backs off additional 10 hours of preschool — for now


Inside Colorado’s free preschool initiative

After proposing that some youngsters get 10 additional hours of preschool per week when Colorado’s common preschool program launches subsequent yr, state officers backed off that plan this month. 

The proposal would have allowed a big subset of kids, together with these from low-income households, or who’ve disabilities or are studying English, to get double the ten hours per week assured by legislation to all 4-year-olds — for a complete of 20 hours per week.

However now these additional hours are in query after Lisa Roy, the chief director of the state’s early childhood division, eliminated the quantity from a brand new rule she licensed. 

That call represents a little bit of a flip-flop by Roy’s division, which proposed the additional 10 hours within the first place. It additionally illustrates the problem of launching a serious new early childhood program when so many particulars are nonetheless in flux. 

A committee charged with advising Roy on early childhood guidelines accredited the 10-extra-hours provision as a part of a broader rule late final month. Roy, who has the ultimate say on guidelines, took out the 10-hour quantity early this month. 

She defined in a public memo that she did so “to permit for additional dialog and to think about the variety of hours in coordination with the dialogue associated to rate-setting, which can occur later this fall.” 

It’s doable, however not sure, the ten further hours will probably be reinstated at the moment. The variety of further hours may be decreased or elevated. 

Price-setting refers back to the course of for deciding the sum of money the state can pay preschool suppliers for every common preschool seat. State leaders say they need to guarantee the speed displays the true price of offering high-quality programming and ensures preschool lecturers make a dwelling wage

Each are lofty objectives that some consultants say, if realized, might imply a per-pupil price at the very least double the practically $4,500 per seat common the state paid final yr to suppliers taking part in Colorado’s smaller preschool program serving college students with sure threat components. 

Colorado’s new common preschool program, which will probably be tuition-free, might finally serve about three-quarters of the state’s 4-year olds.

Ann Schimke is a senior reporter at Chalkbeat, overlaying early childhood points and early literacy. Contact Ann at

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