Preschool is so much more than a daycare option; it’s a place for tots to learn key skills like early literacy, social skills, language development, and physical skills. This fall, Denver Preschool Program (DPP), which provides quality-improvement resources to four-year-old preschool classrooms, is expanding its resources to help three-year-olds succeed in the preschool classroom as well.
“Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs in the ages between birth and five years old,” says Ellen Braun, deputy director at DPP. “That window is really pivotal in setting up a child for success. A quality preschool program sets a child up so that they experience that love of learning and being in a classroom with other kids and learning from other adults.”
With $700,000 annually earmarked for the initiative, it now gives preschool teachers two years of quality resources to better prepare students for their school years to come. The initiative, which focuses on DPP’s Quality Improvement Plan, contains myriad support for schools, including professional one-on-one coaching, funding for classroom learning materials, enrollment incentive systems, and trainings and teacher scholarships for bachelor and associates degrees. For now, the expansion into three-year-old classrooms doesn’t include tuition support.
“Extending our Quality Improvement Program to three-year-old classrooms through the 2020-2021 school year will give many children in Denver two years of high quality preschool, which we hope will mean even more kids are ready to succeed in kindergarten when they turn five,” says DPP president and CEO Jennifer Landrum.