The act creates the Colorado universal preschool program provider participation bonus program (bonus program). The bonus program requires a one-time bonus payment to any eligible preschool provider (provider) that participates in the preschool program established in the department of early childhood (department). The department can award additional bonus payments to eligible recipients that maintain or increase their licensed capacity to serve infants and toddlers between April 1, 2022, and April 1, 2024. Subject to available appropriations, the department shall also award bonus payments to eligible recipients located in low-capacity preschool areas.
The purpose of the bonus program is to:
- Increase provider participation in the Colorado universal preschool program (preschool program) to ensure that all children have access to a universal preschool classroom in their communities;
- Strengthen the mixed delivery system by supporting providers that have not previously participated in the Colorado state-run preschool program; and
- Preserve access to infant and toddler care.
Providers are required to use the bonus payments to implement or support the preschool program or maintain or expand infant and toddler care.
The department is required to report to the joint budget committee on or before September 1, 2024, on the number and types of providers that receive bonus payments and the number and types of bonus payments awarded.
The bonus program is repealed, effective July 1, 2025.
The act appropriates $2,500,000 from the general fund to the department for purposes of the program.
APPROVED by Governor June 2, 2023
EFFECTIVE June 2, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)