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Legislated Eligibility Criteria
The number of children who can be served in the Colorado Preschool Program is capped at a level set by the State Legislature. It is the responsibility of the local district advisory council to establish a clear policy for the determination of child eligibility.
Because CPP is capped, it is important to have a well-planned process to ensure that the program serves children with the highest need.
Section 22-28-106 of the Colorado Revised Statutes defines the eligibility criteria for children who may be served in CPP. These guidelines include:
- Children must be 3, 4 or 5 years old and have eligibility factor(s) present in their lives.
- If a child is served as a 4 or 5-year-old, the child must be eligible for kindergarten the next year and have one eligibility factor present in their lives. They may only participate in CPP for one year.
- If a child is served as a 3-year-old, the child must have three significant risk factors in their life that put him or her at risk of school failure. A child may participate in CPP for a second year if he or she continues to have risk factors present in his or her life.
- Children funded by CPP must be 3, 4, or 5 on or before October 1 of the school year.
- The parent(s) or legal guardian must enter into an agreement with the program regarding their involvement in their child’s education.
Significant eligibility factors that affect overall learning readiness must be present in a child’s life.
These are defined by the legislature to mean any of the following:
- The child is eligible to receive free or reduced-cost meals pursuant to the provisions of the Federal “National School Lunch Act.”
- Homelessness of the child’s family
- An abusive adult residing in the home of the child
- Drug or alcohol abuse in the child’s family
- Either parent of the child was less than eighteen years of age and unmarried at the time of the birth of the child
- The child’s parent or guardian has not successfully completed a high school education or its equivalent
- Frequent relocation by the child’s family to new residences
- Poor social skills of the child
- Children are also eligible:
If a child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and qualifies for state Per Pupil Revenue (PPR) funding from special education, that child may be funded for an additional half day of programming if they meet the eligibility criteria of CPP. For example, if a child has been found eligible under CPP and has been receiving a full day of preschool general education programming and later in the year is determined to have a disability under IDEA, that child may continue to receive a full day of preschool programming.
Please see the CPP Handbook for more details.