Universal Pre-K (UPK) Program

ECE UPK Application Opens January 11, 2024 ENDS February 12, 2024

The enrollment lottery for ECE-4 families will return to be a part of the DPS SchoolChoice process for our upcoming enrollment cycle starting Jan. 11, 2024. ECE-3 and ECE-4 families will first need to participate in DPS SchoolChoice to match with their preferred DPS school for the 2024-25 school year, then the UPK application will need to be completed by families after Round 1. 

 How to Apply for ECE for 2024-25 

Schools will need to direct families to the SchoolChoice application for all ECE enrollment. We strongly encourage families to submit their ECE application during Round 1, as this will offer them the best chance of obtaining a seat at their desired DPS preschool program. SchoolChoice Round 1 opens at 10 a.m. on Jan. 11 and closes at 4 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2024. After Round 1 has closed, the DPS Enrollment Services and Early Education teams will reach out to families that submitted their application to provide the next steps for completing a UPK application for funding support. 

As we gear up for the upcoming SchoolChoice season, schools that provide ECE should be aware that the SchoolChoice process for ECE families will be much different than in previous years. Along with other Colorado school districts, DPS is working with the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) to continue expanding its Early Childhood Education program by rolling out a new enrollment process for Universal Pre-K (UPK). This new change will provide additional funding opportunities for our ECE-providing schools and district partners, including charter schools and private ECE providers.

UPK ensures that every child in the year before they are eligible for kindergarten is eligible for half-day (15 hours per week) state-funded, voluntary preschool beginning in the 2024-25 school year. Three-year-olds with qualifying factors are eligible for at least part-time (10 hours per week) preschool programming. As an education provider, DPS must comply with the new UPK Program and follow state-level CDEC guidance in order to receive funding.

Please encourage ECE parents to apply as early as possible to avoid potential delays or limited opportunities as waitlists will not be utilized for UPK applications.
 Thank you for your patience as we gather more information to support you and your ECE families through this transition.
The DPS Early Education Department