Today Governor Polis signed HB-1262 - legislation to make tuition free full-day kindergarten a reality for all Colorado families - into law. This means that THIS FALL all Colorado families will have access to tuition free full-day kindergarten.
At the bill signing today, policymakers shared why they prioritized funding for full-day kindergarten this session and applauded the many families who shared their stories about what tuition-free full-day kindergarten would mean for them.
Mom of three and Stand for Children Parent Advocacy Fellow, Asia Zanders spoke at the bill signing saying,
"I will give you 3 main reasons fully funding full day kindergarten moves Colorado forward. First, fully funded kindergarten gives every child the opportunity to reach their full potential. The advantage in this is that children with behavioral or learning disabilities and children who are gifted are provided with the specialized instruction needed to help them learn in the way best they can.
The second reason funding full day kindergarten moves Colorado forward is that it allows teachers to provide an uninterrupted learning experience to their students compared to a half day of kindergarten where instruction is crammed or left out, leaving some unprepared for 1st grade.
This additional time in the classroom gives children the opportunity to socialize and creatively use the skills they learn at home and school in an engaging environment. This helps children learn how to self-regulate their own behavior and be better prepared for later grades.
Last, funding full day kindergarten moves Colorado forward because it gives families the chance to thrive. If there is one thing we as parents and caregivers all have in common, it is that we want what is best for our children - which means we have to provide for them. While children are in school, parents, if need be, can advance in their careers and provide for their families, giving them more opportunities for their futures. Without this law, more parents would have been left at a disadvantage because they would have to shell out money for tuition that could go towards other necessities, or force parents to risk losing their jobs or mobility to find and pay for childcare as it does for so many families in Colorado right now."
This legislation was a top priority for Stand for Children, and we are thrilled that full-day kindergarten will be available for families this fall. Read more about this work here.