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Legislation would provide a one-time bonus to providers participating in Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program

This week the Colorado Senate cleared Senator Janet Buckner’s (D-Aurora) bipartisan bill to support early childhood care providers through a one-time bonus payment award.

Colorado State Senate chambers. Photo courtesy of KUNC.

Cosponsored by Senator Janice Rich, R-Grand Junction, SB23-269 would fund one-time bonus payments for early childhood care providers participating in Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program (UPK). The bonuses must be used to implement the Universal Preschool Program, or to maintain or expand infant and toddler care capacity.

“Access to quality early childhood education not only supports critical early development and future educational outcomes for Colorado kids, but also the very well-being of families across our state,” said Buckner. “These one-time bonuses are a much-deserved thank you to the early childhood care providers working to get Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program up and running. I look forward to watching UPK benefit Colorado’s youth this fall and for generations to come.”

Providers may receive an additional bonus payment if they maintain or increase their capacity to serve infants and toddlers between April 1, 2022 and April 1, 2024, or are in low-capacity preschool areas.

The bill would transfer $2.5 million from the General Fund to the Colorado Universal Preschool Program Provider Participation Bonus Program, housed within the Department of Early Childhood.

SB23-269 now heads to the Colorado House for further consideration.