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Ready Child, Ready School

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, the department will be identifying and creating resources to promote robust and developmentally appropriate kindergarten programs.

Kindergarten School Readiness Guidance

Since 2012, CDE has been supporting districts with the phased implementation of the school readiness provisions of SB 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K).  CAP4K indicates that local education providers are required to ensure all children in publicly-funded preschool or kindergarten receive an individual school readiness plan. The legislation does not specify the contents of school readiness plans except that the plans need to be informed by the school readiness assessment.

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.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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