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Kindergarten Guidance

Kindergarten School Readiness Guidance

School Readiness Pie Chart




Kindergarten is a child’s first introduction to formal education and should serve as a supported transition between home, early learning and care, or preschool environments. With the implementation of school readiness plans and assessments, CDE will identify and create resources to promote robust and developmentally appropriate kindergarten programs.

CDE supports districts with the phased implementation of the school readiness provisions of Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K). CAP4K requires local education providers to ensure that all children in publicly-funded preschool or kindergarten receive individual school readiness plans. CAP4K does not specify the contents of school readiness plans except that plans must be informed by the school readiness assessment.

Early Childhood Assessment

We recently migrated information related to Early Childhood Assessment to a new location. Please visit the P-3 Education section or click the link above to access Early Childhood Assessment information.


Colorado Laws Related to Kindergarten

Pursuant to C.R.S. 22-32-119, Colorado districts are required to offer some form of kindergarten:

(1) A board of education shall establish and maintain kindergartens in connection with the schools of its district for the instruction of children one year prior to the year in which such children would be eligible for admission to the first grade. Said board may prescribe courses of training, study, and discipline and rules and regulations governing such kindergarten programs. Said kindergartens shall be a part of the public school system, and the cost of establishing and maintaining them may be paid from the general school fund.

Full Day Kindergarten

What are the time and attendance requirements for full-day kindergarten?

22-33-104. Compulsory school attendance.

(1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, every child who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of each year and is under the age of seventeen years, except as provided by this section, shall attend public school for at least the following number of hours during each school year:

(I) One thousand fifty-six hours if a secondary school pupil;
(II) Nine hundred sixty-eight hours if an elementary school pupil in a grade other than kindergarten;
(III) Nine hundred hours if a full-day kindergarten pupil; or
(IV) Four hundred fifty hours if a half-day kindergarten pupil

If you are thinking of establishing a full-day program, we have some other guidance in statute:

22-54-131. Full-day kindergarten funding - guidelines - technical assistance - legislative intent - legislative declaration.

(1) A district that, prior to the 2008-09 budget year, offered a full-day kindergarten program without additional state funding to some or all of the kindergarten pupils enrolled in the district is encouraged to use the moneys received from supplemental kindergarten enrollment pursuant to section 22-54-103 (7) (d) and hold-harmless full-day kindergarten funding pursuant to section 22-54-130 in the 2008-09 budget year and each budget year thereafter to expand the district's existing full-day kindergarten program rather than to defray the costs of the existing full-day kindergarten program.

(2) In offering a full-day kindergarten program with the moneys received from supplemental kindergarten enrollment pursuant to section 22-54-103 (7) (d) and hold-harmless full-day kindergarten funding pursuant to section 22-54-130, a district is encouraged to follow the basic program standards established by the state board pursuant section 22-28-108 for the Colorado preschool program, as they may apply to a full-day kindergarten program.


Implemented in 2009 to align with CAP4K, the Colorado Academic Standards include grade by grade expectations in the arts (music, visual arts, dance, and drama and theater arts), comprehensive health and physical education, mathematics, reading, writing and communicating, science, social studies, world languages, and English language proficiency. In 2010, Colorado adopted the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics at which time Colorado reissued the Colorado Academic Standards in mathematics and reading, writing, and communicating with the Common Core fully embedded.

Colorado’s Early Learning and Development Guidelines

Colorado’s Early Learning and Development Guidelines are the result of a partnership between the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission, and Colorado Head Start. The guidelines provide a common framework for understanding the continuum of development of children from birth through age eight. These guidelines are aligned with and complement the Colorado Academic Standards for preschool through third grade and with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework.

Offices of School Readiness and Literacy Co-Presented Webinar

The offices of School Readiness and Literacy presented a webinar on Tuesday, August 25  intended to support implementation of School Readiness, READ Act and the minor changes that were instituted in HB 15-1323.  Watch the recorded webinar.

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