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News Release: Colorado Preschool Program shows long-term positive outcomes for children

Jan. 31, 2019

Colorado Preschool Program shows long-term positive outcomes for children

ENGLEWOOD – The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) celebrated its 30-year anniversary Thursday with the release of longitudinal data that show its students have had lower rates of significant reading deficiencies, better chances of graduating on time and fewer incidents of being held back in school.

The findings were released in a report that was sent to the legislature and heralded by Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Education Commissioner Dr. Katy Anthes at a news conference at the Englewood Early Childhood Education Program at Maddox, which earlier this month moved into a new state-of-the-art facility that was built with voter-approved construction bonds. The center enrolls 223 students in preschool through kindergarten, half of whom are enrolled in CPP.

"I am proud that new evidence confirms what educators, parents and communities have known for years -- high-quality early childhood education has lasting impacts on children's academic success," Polis said. "I look forward to working with the legislature to invest in our youngest learners by expanding access to high-quality early learning for all children in Colorado.”

“The Colorado Preschool Program is setting its students up for success throughout their school years.” Anthes said. “With the first set of longitudinal data showing higher graduation rates for CPP participants, we now have evidence showing that CPP is a winning strategy in our state’s efforts to ensure all students graduate ready for success.”
The Colorado Preschool Program, administered by the Colorado Department of Education, provides access for high-quality early childhood education for children who lack overall school readiness and have certain risk factors associated with later challenges in school. Over three decades, the program has provided funding for 378,658 children.
For the 2017-18 school year, the legislature appropriated $111,245,923 to CPP for up to 29,360 3- to 5-year-olds with specific risks, including being from low-income households and needing language development. Children eligible for CPP attend high-quality early childhood programs located in school settings, local child care centers, community preschools or Head Start programs.
For years data have been compiled about CPP participants, following them through their school years. For the first time, CDE has been able to measure the outcomes at the end of high school for the earliest CPP participants.

The results show:

  • The odds of an on-time graduation are 23 percent higher for children funded by CPP than their peers with similar risk factors who did not participate in CPP.
  • Kindergartners who participated in CPP for half- and full-day preschool were 7 percent less likely to be identified with a Significant Reading Deficiency in kindergarten when compared with students who were equally at risk but did not participate in CPP.
  • Children funded by CPP were less likely to be retained during the K-3 years than peers who were equally at risk but did not participate in CPP.

About Englewood Early Childhood Education Program at Maddox

For over 30 years, Englewood Schools have provided a quality preschool program to the community’s young children. Due to high demand for early childhood education, Englewood Schools first began offering early childhood education in 1988.
In 2016, Englewood voters passed a bond to construct a new building for the Englewood Early Childhood Education Program at Maddox (ECE Maddox). The new Maddox building, which is custom designed to support the unique learning of young students, opened earlier this month. Featuring four outdoor and two indoor play areas, along with Maker Space and culinary exploration learning areas, ECE Maddox supports learning through play, large and small group activities, outdoor play and learning, and independent care routines.
“For our youngest students, early childhood education is their gateway to a lifetime of learning,” said Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin. “And as our 3- and 4-year-old students are learning many of the basics, they are building a critical foundation that will carry them through their school career and lead them to success throughout their childhood and beyond.”

Learn more about ECE Maddox.

About Colorado Preschool Program

Colorado Preschool Program was created in 1988 by the General Assembly to provide an opportunity for children to attend high-quality preschools if they had certain risk factors in their lives that are associated with later challenges in school. Initially, the General Assembly provided funding for 2,000 children in 36 districts.

Due to the success of the program, by the end of the 2017-18 school year, CPP provided funding for up to 29,360 positions. Total allocation from the legislature was $111,245,923 to CPP for the 2017-18 school year. The average annual state preschool spending per child in Colorado was $4,095 for that year. Of the total funding for CPP, 18.3 percent was used for full-day kindergarten under the ECARE kindergarten program with the remaining 81.7 percent used for preschool.

Learn more about the Colorado Preschool Program.

Read the Colorado Preschool Program Legislative Report 2019 (PDF).