Universal Preschool (UPK)

HB22-1295 established the Colorado Universal Preschool Program (UPK) to offer voluntary, high-quality universal preschool to every Colorado child in the year before kindergarten. High-quality preschool has demonstrated positive outcomes for children and families in the short and long-term.

How does it work?
  • All children who will be 4 years-old on or before October 1 are eligible to apply for 15 hours of free, high quality preschool in their year before kindergarten.
  • Families may be eligible for more hours based on a number of qualifying factors.
Who is eligible for additional hours?
  • Children who live in low-income families (defined as household income at or below 270% of the federal poverty level) AND have a qualifying factor of:
    • Child is homeless or unhoused
    • Child is multilingual
    • Child is eligible for special education through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    • Child is in poverty (defined as household income at or below 100% of the federal poverty level)
    • Child is currently in the custody of a state or county administered foster care home or non-certified kinship care
How do I apply for UPK?
  • New and returning families of children who will be 4-years old on or before October 1 must complete the UPK application through the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC).
  • Families of children who will be 3 years-old on or before October 1 and who are not receiving special education services must contact the Aurora Public Schools Department of Early Childhood to enroll in preschool.
  • Families of children who will be 3 years-old on or before October 1 and who are receiving special education services must contact the Special Education Administrative Unit (AU) of Aurora Public Schools to be placed according to their child’s IEP.

Preschool-student

Process for Enrolling in APS Preschool

  1. Complete Universal Preschool (UPK) application
    • Submitting the UPK application does not guarantee placement
    • Placement is dependent on availability of spots
    • Allow at least 2 weeks for application to be processed by UPK and received by APS
  2. Accept or decline placement on UPK parent portal
    • Accepting placement does not guarantee enrollment in APS preschool programs
    • Enrollment is dependent on availability of spots
  3. Contact the ECE Department to verify your child’s placement
    • The ECE Department will provide placement options and give next steps to complete enrollment
  4. Please do not complete registration through Centralized Admissions before receiving placement confirmation from the ECE Department. 
  5. After receiving placement confirmation, please have the following documents ready to complete registration in APS Preschool Programs:
    • Child’s birth certificate
    • Immunization records
    • Proof of address
    • Valid identification