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Colorado Preschool Program Handbook

The CPP handbook assists district advisory councils, CPP coordinators, administrators, and local school boards to meet the statutory requirements for CPP. It reflects what is required by the CPP statute, the CPP rules and regulations, and the Colorado Quality Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education Services. The Colorado Preschool Regional Support Specialists monitor these elements of CPP implementation and are available to provide technical assistance to school districts.

Note: This handbook relies on active links to documents and web-based resources. It is updated on a regular basis. You are encouraged to use the online version so that you are accessing the most up-to-date version and can benefit from active content.


The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) is a state-funded preschool program administered by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Enacted by the Colorado General Assembly in 1988, CPP currently provides funding for up to 29,360 young children who have certain risk factors associated with later challenges in school. Since 2013, the General Assembly has expanded CPP three times through the Early Childhood At-Risk Enhancement (ECARE) program totaling 9,200 CPP positions for either half- or full-day preschool. Children who are eligible for CPP attend high-quality early childhood programs. These may be located in school district settings, local child care centers, community preschools, or Head Start programs.

Local school districts and their preschool district advisory councils manage CPP. Each participating school district is given a predetermined number of half-day positions to serve eligible children. Two types of positions can be allocated to districts: CPP and ECARE preschool positions. Two half-day positions can be combined to create full-day opportunities for preschool children with very high needs.

Children are determined eligible for CPP based on significant family risk factors present in their lives. These risk factors have been shown to be associated with later challenges in school. School district staff members engage with families to gather information about children’s development and learning. They also ask families about challenges they and their child may have experienced. If a child is found eligible and the school district program has positions available, the staff will work with the family to arrange a program location and start date.

Preschooler with Paint on Hands

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