Specific CPP Program Requirements Identified in Legislation (22-28-108 C.R.S.)
True quality goes beyond licensing requirements – these minimum standards are just a beginning. Quality programs attempt to provide the best possible environment for all children.
The basic elements of quality that are identified in the Colorado Preschool Program Act include:
Class Size: There should be a maximum of 16 children per classroom with an adult-child ratio of one to eight in preschool classrooms with children funded by CPP.
- One of the primary determinants of quality in early childhood programs is the relationship between children and teachers.
- It may be difficult for a teacher to develop a close relationship with his/her students if the class size is too large or if the teacher is responsible for too many children.
- The relationship between a teacher and child is especially critical when serving children who are at risk for school failure.
- Multiple opportunities for one-on-one communication are critical for children to develop language, math and self regulation skills.
Frequency of Contact: For preschool programs, the law requires 360 contact hours a year, which is usually 10 hours per week (22-32-109 C.R.S.).
- Classes are to be held for four half days, or the equivalent per week.
- The fifth half day should be used for home visits, staff development, or planning. (22-28-108 C.R.S.)
- In each school district, the funding levels for CPP are one-half of what is provided for a child in first grade.
- While the preschool program must be operated at a minimum of 360 hours per year, half-day kindergarten must operate a minimum of 450 hours per year.
- The 90 hour difference in the program requirement hours is to enable preschool teachers additional time to attend staff training, provide home visits to families, assess children, and do child planning based on those assessments.
- With the implementation of Results Matter, the funded non-pupil contact time is even more critical.
Each child should have an individual learning plan which identifies the child’s needs in language, cognition, gross and fine motor development, social skills, and self-esteem. Participation in Results Matter, our authentic assessment and online data collection, is also required. Data from the assessment can inform the individual learning plan.
In a quality early childhood program, parents and providers learn how to be partners in a child’s education. CPP requires programs to have a written plan for parent involvement.
- In addition, parents are asked to enter into an agreement with the program that specifies what this involvement looks like (22-28-110 C.R.S.) .
- Programs that are able to engage parents in their child’s education can strengthen parents’ ability to support their children and reinforce the learning that occurs in the classroom.
- Early childhood programs can break down barriers with families, such as lack of trust in schools and fear of failure, to set a pattern of parent involvement that can be followed through a child’s school career.