Education Policy Networking Series: Expanding Access to Quality Early Learning Opportunities in Colorado

| 04:30 PM - 06:30 PM
Cost/fee: Free
Room Number: Terrace Room (2nd Floor)
Lawrence Street Center
1380 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO
Expanding Access to Quality Early Learning Opportunities in Colorado
 
Access to quality early learning opportunities is growing in Colorado, but wide gaps remain by income and geography. Colorado's Constitution provides for free public education starting at age six, and so for decades the state's school districts have not provided free full-day kindergarten, often leaving low-income parents to find other options.

Last spring, the Legislature approved the Governor's plan for funding full-day kindergarten statewide. Colorado also provides a limited number of free preschool slots for three and four year-olds, but the number of children who are eligible for free preschool far exceeds the number of slots made available by districts which must rely on tuition to cover funding gaps.

At the local level, cities like Denver have taken the lead in funding their own preschool programs by partnering with the district and private providers to expand access. At the state level, there is promising news as the Colorado Department of Education recently received a $38 million federal grant to expand access to quality early childhood services from birth through age five.

Join local and state leaders in early education in Colorado for a discussion about efforts to expand access to early learning for all children wherever they live and whatever their needs. Admission is free, but space is limited. Appetizers and refreshments will be served.

Panelists:

Stacey Kennedy
Director of Child Care Quality Initiatives
Office Early Childhood
Colorado Department of Human Services

Bill Jaeger
Vice President, Early Childhood & Policy Initiatives
Colorado Children’s Campaign

Diana Schaack. PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Colorado Denver
School of Education and Human Development

Jennifer Stedron, PhD
Executive Director
Early Milestones Colorado

Susan Steele
President & CEO
Buell Foundation
 
Moderator:

Parker Baxter
Director, Center for Education Policy Analysis
CU Denver School of Public Affairs
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