• The Denver Post featured an article about the big payoff that the St. Vrain Valley School District has seen since making considerable new investments six years ago in early childhood education. In 2006, the District received a $5 million federal grant for Early Childhood Education, voters approved a mill-levy override, and a voter-approved bond measure also contributed to their investments. Six years later, all 26 of St. Vrain’s elementary schools offer preschool and full-day kindergarten, making it one of just a handful of districts in the state with that offering. St. Vrain Superintendent Don Haddad explained their significant results for students since the program was implemented: “At the elementary level, what we’ve seen with at-risk kids is they’ve gone from 18 percent proficient to 88 percent proficient in third-grade reading,” and that “Overall, the district’s third-grade reading scores have improved by 4 percentage points, from 77 percent reading at or above grade level in 2007 to 81 percent achieving that in 2011.”
  • Statewide, there is room in our licensed child care programs for only 19 percent of the state’s babies and young toddlers. In many counties, capacity is even lower. In one out of every four Colorado counties, licensed care is unavailable for 90 percent or more of the babies born there each year. (Qualistar Colorado)
  • The Colorado Preschool Program serves less than half of all eligible children, for only 2.5 hours a day. (Lobato opinion, Page 70)
  • Did you know that because preschool funding is tied to K-12 funding, it has taken the same 13% budget hit over the last 4 years? (Colorado Department of Education – Preschool Program Report to School Finance Partnership, Slide #15)
  • Colorado’s national ranking for pre-K access for 4-year-olds dropped from 14th to 21st and state resources fall from 23rd to 36th, among the lowest of 39 states offering pre-K. (National Institute for Early Education Research, State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook)
  • Colorado ranks 36th out of the 40 states that offer a state preschool program on state funding. (Lobato opinion, Page 72)