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  • Dawn Alexander

12/20/23 ECEA Child Care Update

Updated: Jan 18

ECEA is Digging In Deeper....

We did a CORA request but the data that came back didn't really get to the heart of what we were looking for. We are going to do the math and share it with you ourselves!

That is 2,155 Preschools and Child Care Centers. If each program had ONE 4 year old licensed classroom then that is 2,155 4 year old classrooms. Under proposed UPK ratio requirements those 1:12 classrooms would have to decrease to 1:10 ratio. With a current max group size of 24 that's a loss of 4 children per classroom which equates to a loss of $60,000 a year per classroom.

                                        2.155 x 60,000 = $129,300,000

That's right...$129M in potential lost revenue across the industry! Why does this matter? Child Care Centers have said from the very beginning that:

  • 4 year olds offset the costs for infant/toddler care in programs

  • Any loss to 4 year olds results in programs having no other choice than to raise

  • UPK statute says that UPK regulations have to come into alignment with

  • Quality education can still happen with 1:12 ratios if the educators are awesome individuals

  • Changes to policies are supposed to be data informed. Colorado is UNIQUE in that we have a mixed delivery UPK system. National data points only to school

  • If infant/toddler care costs are not offset by 4 year olds that are in care it will

Be on the lookout....when the time comes to request a cost benefit analysis from the state we will provide you with the details to make the request and to send in the exact cost to your program that this policy change would have on your program!


There are Several Ways to Make a Difference

Donate to the Political Action Committee (PAC) so that your money can support specific legislators and enable ECEA to support their campaigns and to be effective with legislative initiatives. Political contributions are not tax deductible.

Donate to the ECEA Bright Foundation to offest the cost of child care trainings statewide. All donations to the foundation are tax deductible. Contact Dawn at to request an invoice for a specific donation amount.

Donate directly to ECEA for advocacy work. Contact Dawn at to request an invoice for a specific donation amount. Donations to a 501c6 organization are not tax deductible.

If you haven't already.....JOIN ECEA! Our membership makes things happen!! Rates are changing in 2024. Join now for 2023 membership rates.

$200 small center license

$250 large center license

$60 SACCs

$400 Affiliates (ie., EC Councils, other vendors that serve child care programs)

YOU can make a difference!



CDEC Makes Terrific Changes to Enrollment Process to Support Families and Programs!

Your advocacy voice was heard! CDEC has established NEW enrollment processes for the 2024 school year. This new process is a great step towards ensuring a mixed delivery system statewide!

Pre-Registration (February): With an eye towards continuity-of-care, a pre-registration process would be available for families with children currently enrolled, children with siblings currently enrolled, or with a family member currently employed by a participating provider. CDEC and LCOs will provide additional support to providers between pre-registration and the start of the school year to ensure that all families have access to and can complete the application in a timely manner. 

Family Matching (March-June): For families looking for a new preschool provider, the Family Matching process would offer families a simplified opportunity to be matched with a ‘just-right fit,’ based on their top choices from a wide variety of high-quality, licensed school-based, community-based, and home-based providers participating in Colorado Universal Preschool. Families will find a one-stop-shop to browse providers, select top choices, review eligibility for the program, and submit an application for funding via

Walk-In Direct Enrollments (July - Summer): Closer to the start of the school year, families who have yet to enroll would work directly with a provider of choice to enroll as space allows. Similar to the pre-registration process, families would be able to submit an application and directly enroll with the provider. CDEC will continue to work with providers to find ways to ensure families complete the universal preschool application during this phase so that providers secure funding for these families.

Students with IEP (Year Round): Throughout the enrollment process and school year, children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) would be supported through direct application, registration, and enrollment through their Administrative Unit (AU). 

Does your community know that you offer UPK? Make sure they know that you are an option for them!


SACC Grants Available

Applications open now through 2/15/24


Both grant programs seek to establish or expand community learning centers that will accelerate student learning by providing academic support and enrichment as well as family engagement activities in Out-of-School Time programs, which are regularly attended by students and their families when school is not in session. While 21st CCLC programs are more comprehensive, CO-AAP programs will be focused on increasing student outcomes in STEM, particularly science and math.


CDE will award approximately $3 million in 21st CCLC funding and approximately $8 million in CO-AAP funding. Applicants to both grants may apply for up to $180,000 per center per year.


Eligible entities for both grants are local educational providers/agencies, community-based organizations, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, another public or private entity, and a consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations, or entities. Please note that centers (sites/schools by school code) that will be funded through the 21st CCLC grant program as of July 1, 2024 are ineligible for the CO-AAP and 21st CCLC Cohort 11 funding opportunities. If an entity is planning to apply for both the 21st CCLC and CO-AAP funding opportunities, the same centers (sites/schools by school code) may not be included in both applications.


Click on the Links for all of the Data!

We've provided you with interesting screenshots for each.




ECEA has been told that any additional funding for 3 year olds must be appropriated by the Governor in the long bill. No such appropriation has been requested to date for this purpose. CPP numbers for 3 year olds statewide in 2022

The funding amount for those 7,265 3 year olds is supposed to be the amount of funding applied to 3 year old school district funding for this school year. A question about 3 year olds was asked and answered at JBC this month:

We will keep you posted on developments in this area!


The TRAILS fee has been reduced to $30 effective immediately.


School Districts Received Hold Harmless Funds for differences in their 3 year old enrollments

We are advocating for equitable systemic fiscal support. If you subcontracted to provide CPP in the 2022 school year as a community based provider, please email:   We are providing support for several programs and will include you!








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