Colorado invests more in preschool

October 2, 2019 | Chalkbeat Colorado

A new study shows large literacy gains and other benefits for full-day preschoolers as they enter kindergarten compared with their half-day peers — timely findings given the surge of new publicly funded preschool classrooms in Colorado.

The new evidence, gleaned from a study of students in the Westminster school district north of Denver, comes amid the rollout of two major early childhood initiatives championed by Gov. Jared Polis. They include the launch of free full-day kindergarten statewide and the expansion of free state-funded preschool for students with certain risk factors.

The preschool expansion, rolling out this fall and winter, has allowed school districts across the state, including Westminster, Denver, Aurora, and Englewood, to create new full-day preschool seats. District officials say many parents want the full-day option because it aligns better with their work schedules. Plus, they say the longer day gives youngsters additional time to learn important social, emotional, and pre-academic skills.

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