(COLORADO) — Families in Colorado can begin registering their children for the Universal Preschool (UPK) Program on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Governor Jared Polis’s administration announced on Monday, Jan. 9 that the enrollment process marks the next step in implementing the UPK program across Colorado. Polis’s administration said the UPK provider registration was already off to a strong start, with more than 29,000 seats available across the state.

Over 850 providers have signed up to participate in the state-funded, voluntary mixed delivery preschool program available to every Colorado child in the year before they are eligible to enter kindergarten. 

“We are bringing high-quality preschool to Colorado kids, saving families thousands of dollars, and making sure Colorado students get a strong start in school,” said Governor Polis. “With so many qualified providers registered for UPK, we are excited to open the family enrollment process on January 17, giving families the chance to select the best provider fit for their preschooler.”

The Polis Administration said this landmark program is estimated to save Colorado parents an average of $6,000 a year.   

UPK Colorado launches in fall 2023. When enrollment opens, families can log in to www.UPK.Colorado.Gov to begin the enrollment process on a rolling basis, there is no deadline to sign up. However, families are encouraged to sign up early. Children will begin being matched to providers in mid-February.

Polis’s office said families will be able to select the preschool provider that is the best fit for them and their families from a list of hundreds of high-quality providers. Additional information about the family enrollment process can be found here

All providers who are licensed to support preschool-aged children are able to participate in UPK Colorado and the registration process is simple. To begin the process, providers can sign up here and should contact their Local Coordinating Organization (LCO) for additional support in signing up. Providers can log in to UPK Colorado with the same email used for Provider Hub, and register to become a participating UPK Colorado provider. In order to participate, providers will need to sign the Provider Agreement.

Governor Polis signed HB22-1295 into a law in April, which created the UPK program and established a new department known as the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), responsible for early childhood programs in the state.

“It’s incredible to see hundreds of school districts and preschools registering to be a part of Colorado’s effort to prepare our kids for the future. The enthusiasm is palpable with over 29,000 openings already available for kids in Universal Preschool Colorado. We expect the number to continue to grow before we open up registration to families on January 17,” said CDEC Executive Director Dr. Lisa Roy.