Weekly UPK Updates - March 15, 2023


First-round matching numbers from the CDEC:

  • Total number of 4-year-olds matched = 26,335
  • Families of 4-year-olds matched to their 1st choice = 86.1%
  • Total number of 3-year-olds matched = 4,328
  • Families matched to one of their choices = 94.3%

These videos from CDEC, in English and Spanish, explain how the matching process works.

Important reminders:

  • On March 30, families will receive an email from CDEC letting them know which provider they were matched with and the next steps for enrollment.
  • Families must accept the match by April 13 or they will lose the spot! 

Are you a preschool provider that wants to join UPK?

Please complete your profile in the UPK Colorado portal. Note that your profile will not be published in the portal and visible to families until the first match round is completed. Your profile will publish automatically once the portal reopens to providers.

All providers must have a signed provider agreement in place by June 30, 2023 to be a UPK provider for the 2023-24 school year.


How UPK intersects with IEP, SPED, and Early Intervention

Click below to download an information sheet on how Universal Preschool intersects with preschool special education, Early Intervention, and the IEP.

UPK Intersections Information 

Can families still sign up for UPK for the 2023-24 year?

YES! Families that applied before February 24 are part of the first round of applications to be matched with their chosen providers. After February 24, applications will continue to be accepted and matched with providers on a rolling basis throughout the year.

How the UPK Matching Process Works

Families are matched to a preschool provider by the BridgeCare website application using criteria created by CDEC to reflect family choice, eligibility, and weighted priorities.  The match criteria give added weight to family choice that creates continuity of care (chances for children to lengthen continuous participation in a program and enjoy stable relationships with caregivers), has siblings in the same program, or has a parent employed by the provider.

Family Applications Submitted: Family applications submitted before February 24 were included in the first round of matches; applications are accepted on a rolling basis and matched with providers throughout the year.

Providers Review Matches: Providers are notified of the preliminary match and have an opportunity to review and confirm their matches. Some preschool providers will require specific information from families to show their program requirements are met. This might include requirements for co-op program volunteer hours, language, faith, employer, or IEP. Providers can only decline a match based on specific criteria (see decline list). Providers have 30 days to review and confirm their matches.

Families Notified of Match: Families are notified of their match and asked to accept or decline.

Once Families Accept a Match: When families accept they are referred to the matched provider to complete enrollment.

If Families Decline a Match: If families decline, their application will re-run immediately based on remaining choices.

Tuition Credit Clarification

 CDEC wants to highlight to all providers that as part of UPK Colorado a provider may not charge families above the tuition credit for UPK hours.

Answers to UPK Questions

This FAQ from the Colorado Department of Early Childhood is a comprehensive list of questions and answers about UPK, from both a provider and family perspective.


UPK Help Desk

Support is available by phone 303-866-5223 or email: cdec_upkcolorado@state.co.us, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Support is available to:

  • Help providers with login issues
  • Answer common program questions for families
  • Help families with login and document upload issues