Frequently Asked Questions

Preschool

How large are full-day classes?

Classes are between 16-20 students.

When does enrollment begin?

Round 1 enrollment for 2016-17 will begin on December 7, 2015 and end on January 31, 2016 at 4 p.m. Round 2 begins March 1, 2016 and enrollment is on-going until programs are filled. The first day of ECE will be August 2016, the same as other elementary grade levels. Please check with the school to confirm the start date and determine when registration will take place. Parents may apply for preschool at any DPS school, although students within school boundaries receive priority in case of a lottery for over-enrolled classrooms.

If my school offers the option, should my child attend full-day or half-day preschool? What are some of the benefits of a full-day program?

The advantages of a full-day preschool program are numerous. Full day students will gain:

More opportunities to develop their oral language skills, a major emphasis of the DPS program

  • More small group instruction time each day
  • Twice the indoor and outdoor high-level play opportunities
  • Readiness for the rigors of a full-length school day

However, full day preschool may not be appropriate for every child.

How much does preschool in DPS cost?

At present, tuition charges are on a sliding scale based on family size and annual gross income. Free preschool is available for families that qualify. Completing an application for preschool in DPS at your school means automatic consideration for free or reduced tuition.

What is the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) and do I have to sign up for it? What happens if I don’t?

Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is a voter-approved initiative to provide tuition credits for parents and quality improvement grants to preschools. DPP is open and voluntary for all Denver children the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. Typically, that is when children are 4 years of age, though 5 year-olds occasionally benefit from DPP tuition assistance. Denver families may use the tuition credit with any state-licensed preschool provider who is enrolled with the Denver Preschool program, regardless of where that preschool is located.

Signing up for Denver Preschool Program tuition assistance is mandatory and is part of the application to enroll in a DPS preschool. However, anyone not wishing to disclose financial information may agree to pay full tuition.

Are tuition rates different for Montessori programs?

Yes, Montessori tuition rates are different. Please contact the Montessori school you wish to have your child attend for more information.

I thought that if my preschooler was enrolled in the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), I was going to receive a tuition credit?

Your current tuition rate is already being reduced by the tuition credit. In some circumstances, DPS is further subsidizing the tuition rate to allow us to maintain the current tuition levels. For more information on tuition rates, see Tuition and Tuition Assistance.

How do I know my child is in a quality program?

DPS teachers are well-qualified and must pass state certification standards. DPS prides itself in the quality of its early education programs. Further, DPS is beginning to use a quality rating system (Colorado Shines) – in addition to licensing – for early education. It measures quality in licensed early learning programs, both home and center-based, that serve children from birth to kindergarten. In the Qualistar Rating process, programs are evaluated on five different quality components. These components include the learning environment, family partnerships, training & education, adult-to-child ratios/group size, and accreditation. Additional information on each of these rating components can be found at http://coloradoshines.force.com/ColoradoShines.

Are there programs for 3 year-olds in DPS?

Yes. Some schools offer programs for 3 year-olds. If your child turns 3 after October 1, 2012, she is too young for our 3 year-old programs. Check with the Early Education Department at 720-423-8213 or with your neighborhood school for locations of 3 year-old programs.

What income documents do I need to apply for preschool in DPS?

For information on income documents, visit the following pages:

What is Denver Public Schools Preschool Program? How is it different from Denver Preschool Program?

Nearly all elementary and K-8 schools that are a part of Denver Public Schools offer preschool and kindergarten programs. Check with the Early Education Department at 720-423-8213 or with your neighborhood school for offerings. The Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is the result of a voter approved initiative to provide tuition credits for parents and is open and voluntary for all Denver children the year before they are eligible for kindergarten. A Denver family may use the tuition credit with any preschool provider who is licensed by the state, including Denver Public Schools. When a parent of a preschooler in their year before kindergarten (usually 4 year-olds) applies to preschool in Denver Public Schools, she is automatically enrolled in Denver Preschool Program.

Kindergarten

If my school offers the option, should my child attend full-day or half-day kindergarten? What are some of the benefits of a full-day program?

The full day Kindergarten program offers students a full day of learning and maturing as students launch into their school careers. Full-day students will gain:

  • Twice the time to practice and develop their early reading, writing and mathematics skills
  • The opportunity to study science and social studies and take part in the school’s arts and physical education offerings
  • Expanded opportunities for high level play and developing social skills and oral language

How much does full day kindergarten in DPS cost?

The cost of kindergarten depends on your need. Free kindergarten is available for families that qualify. For more information on tuition rates, see Tuition and Tuition Assistance. When you fill out an application for kindergarten at DPS at your school, you are automatically considered for free or reduced tuition.

Does my child qualify for transportation (to ride a school bus)?

For more information on kindergarten eligibility, please visit the Department of Transportation’s page on Routing Eligibility Requirements for Elementary School Students. To apply for transportation for a preschool student, you must fill out a Transportation Exception Form.