Yesterday in his State of the State Address Governor Polis called on leaders to increase access to preschool in Colorado, saying:
Studies show that preschool is every bit as critical for a child’s development. As with kindergarten, it’s not that parents don’t want preschool — It’s that they can’t afford it. Last year we were able to fund 5,100 additional slots for at-risk children in the Colorado Preschool Program. And in my budget this year, we’re proposing to help an additional 6,000 children attend preschool, which for the first time will bring coverage to half of all eligible kids in Colorado.
We should feel good about reaching this milestone. But it has taken more than three decades to get only half the job done. We can and we must do better, which is why I’m committed to achieving universal access to quality preschool for 4-year-olds by the end of my first term.
And early childhood education isn’t just about giving our kids a great start in life. Every dollar invested in high-quality preschool produces a seven dollar return on investment due to higher earnings, lower special education needs, greater tax revenues, less dependency on public assistance, and lower crime rates.
This isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. And it’s time to get it done.
We agree that high quality preschool is critical to a child's education and will be working to support the Governor's efforts to increase access in Colorado. Interested in joining us?
If you'd like to check out some research about the benefits, click here and here. There will be a great deal of competition for limited resources this legislative session, so we need to show policymakers how much support there is for improving access to preschool. If you're interested in showing your support and staying involved in this work sign up here.