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CPP and ECARE Data 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.

View more on CPP eligibility

ECARE Positions 

Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) positions are 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.


By the Numbers for the 2020-21 School Year*

*Per statute reporting requirements, data to be updated after January for the next year's information.

Total authorized positions: 29,360

  • Total authorized CPP positions: 20,160 

  • Total authorized ECARE positions:  9,200

  • Total positions used*: 24,410 (83% of all authorized positions)

*The number of children enrolled is lower than the number of positions used because 5,774 children are served full-day using two CPP positions. 

Total CPP Enrollment*: 18,636

  • CPP Enrollment 2019-20: 23,474

  • Change from 2019-20 to 2020-21: -4,838 children

  • Change from 2019-20 to 2020-21: -20.6%

*The total enrollment includes 1,112 children who received both CPP funding and preschool special education funding.

Enrollment by Length of Day:

  • Half-Day Preschool: 12,862

  • Full-Day Preschool: 5,774

Enrollment by Age:

  • 5-year-olds: 658 (Age-eligible for kindergarten in the following school year)

  • 4-year-olds: 12,773

  • 3-year-olds: 4,757

  • Children under 3*: 448

*Some districts are able to serve younger children through a waiver granted earlier in the history of the Colorado Preschool Program. This option is no longer statutorily available. Enrollment data includes all children served using CPP and/or ECARE positions.

Preschool Special Education Funding

CDE provides separate funding for children receiving preschool special education services. Additional information on CDE’s Preschool Special Education services.

In the 2020-21 school year, 7,413 children received a half-day of preschool special education funding. Out of those 7,413 children, 1,112 children also received a half-day of CPP funding.

Preschool special education enrollment in 2020-21 decreased by 1,702 (-19%) children from the prior school year.

Number of School Districts Participating: 176 of 179

Further analyses of CPP data from the 2019-20 school year can be found in the CPP Legislative Report.

Differences Between CPP’s Enrollment Data and CDE’s Pupil Membership Data

CPP’s enrollment count is different from CDE’s Pupil Membership count of preschool children. The differences between CPP Enrollment and CDE’s Pupil Membership Child Count Data are outlined below.

CPP Enrollment Child Count Limiters

  • Grade Level
    • Preschool grade only.
  • Public School Finance Funding Status 
    • Only CPP funding codes are included.
      • Code 64: One ½ day preschool position & ½ day PreK SPED funding.
      • Code 81: Full day preschool using two ½ day preschool positions.
      • Code 83: ½ day preschool using one ½ day preschool position.
  • Pupil Attendance Information Codes
    • All pupil attendance codes are included.

CDE Preschool Pupil Membership Preschool Child Count Limiters

  • Grade Level
    • Preschool grade only.
  • Public School Finance Funding Status 
    • All funding codes are included.
  • Pupil Attendance Information Codes
    • Only the following codes are included.
      • 01: Resident, Designated School
      • 02: Resident, School of Choice
      • 03: Resident, Non-District Site
      • 04: Non-Resident, School of Choice
      • 05: Non-Resident, Non-Choice
      • 08: Resident, Non-Choice

CDE’s Funding Codes and Pupil Attendance Information Codes