Sales and Use Tax for Denver Preschool Program

Dedicated Funding Streams & Financing

  • Taxes

Denver, Colorado

First in 2006, and then again in a 2014 reauthorization that extends through 2026, voters approved an allocation of 0.15 percent of sales and use taxes for the Denver Preschool Program (DPP). About 80% of the DPP funds go to families in the form of tuition credits.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Stable, robust funding is essential to expanding and improving early education. Unlike K-12 education, early education has historically been supported through a fragmented – and largely insufficient – set of federal, state, and local funds. Research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality approach to early education across the mixed-delivery system – and for better financial and professional supports for the educators who serve children and families each day; creating dedicated funding streams can therefore help states and cities address these needs and achieve these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Denver

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  • The city population is 711,463
  • The percentage of children under age 5 is 5.7%
  • The median family income among households with children is $101,200.00