Following Up on the Denver Preschool Program
posted by: Amber Johnson
And the three hours I get to myself every day isn’t so bad, either.
Mile High Mamas recently touched base with James Mejia about the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) who is a father of a preschooler and CEO of DPP.
What is the Denver Preschool Program (DPP)?
Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is the result of a ballot initiative approved by Denver residents in November 2006. Currently in its second year of existence, DPP offers tuition credits for families living in the City and County of Denver to assist them in sending their children to quality preschool programs. The program is open and voluntary for all families with children in the last year of school before kindergarten.
DPP also provides quality improvement grants for preschool providers. All licensed providers that agree to participate in the DPP quality-improvement system are eligible – for-profit, non-profit, public and private providers operating centers as well as family child care homes.
How can a family find out if their child(ren)’s preschool is enrolled in DPP? Does the preschool have to be in Denver?
Every day, new preschool providers enroll in DPP. For a family to find out if theirs is one of them, they should go to the DPP Web site at www.dpp.org and click on “Find a Preschool.” Families can discuss DPP with their preschool providers if they are not already enrolled. A passionate parent/guardian can make a difference!
Families have the option of choosing the preschool that meets their needs, including public, private and home-based preschools. Half-day or full-day preschool programs are eligible, as are preschools outside of Denver, provided the preschool is enrolled in DPP.
How are the tuition credits distributed to families?
Families residing in the City and County of Denver with children in the last year of preschool before kindergarten are eligible to receive tuition credits. DPP bases tuition credits on family income, the number of people living at home, the tuition at the family’s chosen preschool, and the quality of the preschool. All families, regardless of income, are eligible for some portion of tuition credit.
Why should families enroll in DPP?
Preschool is essential to a child’s education. From reading and writing to problem solving to making friends and playing, the lessons taught in quality preschool programs prepare children for a lifetime of learning. By providing tuition credits to families, DPP helps ensure that every child in the City and County has the opportunity to succeed. This opportunity is available to all residents of Denver.
How does DPP improve the quality of preschools in Denver?
Preschools enrolled in DPP are required to be licensed and to participate in a quality improvement program. The quality improvement program ensures that providers meet or exceed objective criteria based on high national standards that address teacher credentials, staff training and development, curriculum, parent involvement and more.
How do families apply?
DPP enrollment is easy, and applications are accepted year-round. To apply, parents or guardians should:
*Download an application from the DPP Web site at www.dpp.org. Applications can also be obtained through the family’s preschool provider or from DPP directly.
*Complete and submit the application as instructed.
*Provide proof of the child’s age and of family/child residency in the City and County of Denver.
*Provide documentation of family income for the most current month for DPP to accurately calculate the tuition credit.