Too Few, Too Costly Preschool Opportunities In SW Denver, Study Finds

A new study finds that while every 3- and 4-year-old in Denver’s Cherry Creek and Congress Park neighborhoods attends preschool, only about a third of young children in the city’s Latino southwest neighborhoods attend.

The study casts doubt on the perception that enrollment is lower because Latino families value keeping children at home or with family. Almost half of the 300 parents surveyed said they couldn’t find open slots in their area.

Parents report waiting lists two years long. The average yearly price-tag of $11,000 for one child is another barrier.

Denver Public Schools acting superintendent Susana Cordova said, "Full day Kindergarten is not even fully funded by our state and then to think about how we extend that down into our 4-year olds and 3-year olds is going to be a really important conversation."

Some parents are calling for universal access to preschool for all 3- and 4-year olds, and the end to suspensions and expulsions from preschool.

The survey was conducted by the group Padres y Jovenes Unidos.