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CPP and ECARE at a Glance
High-quality early learning experiences provide a lifetime of benefits for Colorado’s children. Through strong partnerships with districts and communities, the Colorado Department of Education delivers results for our first goal: Start Strong. Local investment of CPP funding in both district and community sites increases choice for families and these strong collaborations result in positive outcomes for children. Since its inception in 1988, CPP has provided essential early learning experiences for more than 378,000 young children.
Children are determined eligible for CPP based on certain risk factors present in their lives, which have been shown to be associated with later challenges in school.
- Four-year-old students must have at least one risk factor present, although most children served show two or more.
- Three-year-olds must have at least three factors present.
- ECARE positions have the same eligibility requirements as standard CPP positions.
Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE)
ECARE is a type of CPP position which can be used more flexibly than a standard CPP position. Two ECARE positions may be combined to create a full-day preschool opportunity for an eligible child. HB 19-1262 makes changes to ECARE positions that until 2019 have been able to be used to fund half-day preschool, combined for full-day preschool or to provide full-day kindergarten(C.R.S. 22-28-104.3)(b). For the 2019-20 budget year and each budget year thereafter, the Department shall not allocate to a district, and a district shall not use, a preschool program position to enroll a child in a full day of the district’s full-day kindergarten educational program. In addition to the 20,160 traditional CPP positions, the General Assembly authorized funding for 9,200 CPP positions, called ECARE positions, that may be used to fund half- or full-day preschool.
2020-21 CPP Position Allocations:
By the Numbers for 2019-20 School Year
Total authorized positions: 29,360
Total authorized CPP positions: 20,160
Total authorized ECARE positions: 9,200
Total child enrollment: 23,474
Number of children enrolled is lower than the authorized position total because some children are served full-day using two CPP positions
Enrollment by Age:
- 5-year-olds - 818 (Age-eligible for kindergarten in the following school year)
- 4-year-olds – 15,720
- 3-year-olds – 6,298
- Children under 3 – 538
Some districts are able to serve younger children through a waiver granted at the initiation of the Colorado Preschool Program. This option is no longer statutorily available.
Enrollment by Length of Day:
- Half-Day Preschool - 17,588
- Full-Day Preschool - 5,886
Number of School Districts Participating: 176 of 179
- Total CPP Funding: $122.8 million
- Colorado average for preschool spending per position: $4,183
- Colorado average for preschool spending per child: $5,232*
*Per statute reporting requirements, data to be updated after January 15 for the next year's information.