The Early Childhood Council of Boulder (ECCBC) is excited to be Boulder County’s Local Coordinating Organization (LCO) to support families and child care providers through the UPK process. Universal Preschool offers voluntary preschool to every child the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. Families can choose the right setting for their child to attend Universal Preschool, whether it is in licensed community-based, school-based or home based preschool setting.
What is an LCO?
Local Coordinating Organizations (LCOs) will be responsible for the coordination of Universal Preschool at the local level – this includes supporting families in navigating enrollment, tracking and reporting on seat availability in preschools, communicating with and supporting providers, and ensuring the smooth rollout of at least fifteen hours of free voluntary preschool for every child in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten. In time, CDEC will work with LCOs to broaden their areas of coordination, building a cohesive system among all early childhood service providers in their catchment area.
Learn more about what an LCO is and the Early Childhood Council of Boulder County’s role in implementing universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) here.
Is my child eligible for Universal Preschool?
If your child turned four years old before October 1, 2023, they are eligible for 15 hours of voluntary universal preschool.
What are the Qualifying Factors to receive 15+ UPK hours?
Based on available funding for the 2023-24 school year and the Colorado law creating Universal Preschool, families of four-year-olds / children in the year before kindergarten eligibility, who are low income, 270% of the Federal Poverty level AND have one other qualifying factor are eligible for additional hours or full day (30 hours/week) funding.
My child is 3 years old, can I apply for the 10 hours of UPK?
Some school districts offer programs for three-year-olds/children two years before kindergarten eligibility. These children are eligible to receive 10 hours per week of Universal Preschool funding if they have at least one of the qualifying factors listed below.
Qualifying factors include:
- Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- Dual language learner
- Foster/Kinship care
Visit the UPK website family page for more information.
How can you apply for UPK?
Find the right child care provider for your child, click here to find those participating in Universal Preschool.
UPK Weekly Matching Ends November 6 - All Participating Providers
- Applications will remain open with communication directing families to complete the application and then enroll directly with their provider of choice.
- Provider supports the family who walked in to complete a UPK application
- Provider informs LCO of placement
- LCO “accepts” match on behalf of the family
- LCO notifies provider
- Provider completes enrollment form
- LCOs will receive a report to identify new enrollments if they are not “walk-ins”.
The Colorado Department of Early Childhood has a dedicated webpage for participating child care providers.
The page is full of information on:
- Provider Payments
- Qualifying Factors
- Multi-age Setting & Seat Flexibility
- Special Education/IEPs
- Application & Matching Process
We have additional resources for you:
This newsletter is for participating UPK child care providers and community members who support children and families impacted by UPK. The newsletter contains timely UPK information.
Participating providers can view our previous Newsletters below:
- Nov 27, 2023 – UPK Update: Provider/CCCAP meeting Wed., grant payments & Dec meeting topics.
- Nov 21, 2023 - ECCBC UPK webpage, payment posted guidance, last call UPK Quality Standards feedback
- Nov 15, 2023 – UPK stats, future matches, LCO meetings and quality standards
- Oct 28, 2023 – UPK quality standards webinar and proposed rule changes qualifying factors
- Oct 23, 2023 – UPK general update and check-in
- Sep 29, 2023 – UPK general updates and check-in
- Sep 13, 2023 – UPK update, 2 days left to enroll children for Oct payment
- Sep 11, 2023 – UPK general stats, resources and grants
- Sep 8, 2023 – UPK Quality Standards update
- Sep 7, 2023 – UPK update, children must be enrolled status for Oct. 2023 payment
Click here to subscribe and receive future UPK Newsletters.
UPK Provider Meetings Updates:
Monthly Provider/LCO discussion with participating UPK child care providers. Providers can anticipate receiving timely Colorado Department of Early Childhood information and ask questions. These are held monthly, once in person and the other via Zoom. For more information email UPK@eccbouldercounty.org.
Previous meeting update slide decks can be viewed below:
Questions about UPK?
As your Local Coordinating Organization (LCO) we are dedicated to partnering with families, providers and the community through the UPK process to ensure children have access to quality care that meets their family’s needs. We want to collect any questions or concerns you may have about UPK, and you can submit those here or send an email to UPK@eccbouldercounty.org.