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68E5B6E4C3F8A7A98725847900580173 Hearing Summary


Date Sep 18, 2019      
Location SCR 357

Updates from the Denver Preschool Program - Committee Discussion Only

10:01:17 AM  
Senator Story invited Elsa Holguin, President
& CEO of the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), to come to the table and
begin her presentation.  A copy of her presentation as well as several
handouts she distributed can be found as Attachments B, C, and D.  Ms.
Holguin provided background information on DPP, which is a taxpayer funded
initiative that provides preschool tuition credits for all four year olds
in Denver, regardless of family income.  She reviewed the strategic
priorities of the program and how the tuition credits work, and explained
that 65 percent of participants are enrolled in a Denver Public Schools
preschool, 22 percent are enrolled in a community-based preschool, and
one percent are enrolled in an in-home preschool.  She said that 69
percent of participants are children of color and 59 percent are children
in the highest two risk categories in terms of poverty.  Ms. Holguin
told the commission members that DPP focuses on quality initiatives and
core values, which include intentional teaching, highly effective teachers,
and positive teacher-child interactions.  She explained how to measure
high quality, and discussed the importance of quality improvement resources
to invest in programs, teachers, and directors.
10:14:48 AM  
Ms. Holguin discussed the kindergarten
readiness evaluation, which measures pre-academic, social-emotional development,
and executive function, and follows children throughout the year to measure
growth.  Ms. Holguin answered questions from the commission.  She
discussed other types of public preschool funding streams at the federal,
state, and local levels, as well as budget disruptors.  She explained
that many changes and challenges are facing the early childhood arena,
including workforce challenges in the early child care workforce, increasing
housing costs, full-day kindergarten, gentrification, the potential of
universal pre-kindergarten, the Preschool Development Grant, raising minimum
wage, and a decrease in the number of four year olds in Denver.  She
reviewed a new DPP initiative called the Gap Scholarship, which is a scholarship
aimed at addressing affordability for Denver's lowest income families,
providing an additional layer of support beyond the tuition credit scale,
and providing a learning opportunity for how to leverage the program in
order to provide more access to high quality preschool for all families
in Denver.

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