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New Universal Preschool Program is a start, but it doesn't solve the childcare desert

Gavin Dahl

Colorado’s new Universal Preschool program begins in the coming weeks. The state will pay up to 15 hours a week for preschool for children in the year before they are eligible to start kindergarten. There have been concerns about whether enough preschool places are available in the state.

In Montrose County, childcare has been described as a desert. Matt Jenkins with the Montrose County School District, says that while the new state program will make preschool more accessible for many families, it doesn’t solve the childcare crisis.

Penny Harris, Director of MCSD’s Early Childhood Centers, says there are also other programs that support families in paying for preschool. Additionally, Harris notes that not all preschool and childcare providers are participating in the program.

Some three-year-olds are also eligible and could receive up to 10 hours a week of preschool if they qualify.

Jenkins says they will help all families with children three to four find a preschool place and navigate the different programs that are available to help pay for it.
Copyright 2023 KVNF - Mountain-Grown Community Radio.

Cassie Knust
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