Inspire Preschool Signs on as Milestone Preschool, Expanding Families’ Options for High‐Quality Preschool in Denver
With the addition of Inspire Preschool, Denver Preschool Program (DPP) has reached another milestone in its efforts to make quality early childhood education available to all Denver families. The addition of Inspire Preschool boosts DPP’s growing network of preschools to 150 providers.
The significance of this achievement reaches well beyond the 150th milestone, pointing to the strides DPP has made in increasing access to quality preschool in Denver: With 150 providers now participating in DPP, families seeking to enroll in DPP can choose from more than 250 preschool sites across the city. These 250‐plus sites offer more than 550 classrooms, each of which is focused on delivering high‐quality preschool education to Denver’s children. Furthermore, DPP has enrolled 85 percent of the city’s eligible preschool “centers” – the provider types with the most capacity to serve Denver families.
Additional providers that recently have enrolled in DPP include Cachitos Day Care Home, Children’s House of Stapleton and Notre Dame Early Learning Center. Including Inspire Preschool, this short list of DPP providers represents the diversity of quality preschool available through DPP – ensuring each family is able to choose the type of program that meets their needs.
“Increasing provider enrollment is essential to our goal of making quality preschool available to every family in Denver, and DPP is proud to welcome Inspire Preschool into the continually expanding program,” said James Mejía, chief executive officer for DPP. “Before DPP, half of our preschool providers had never participated in any kind of quality improvement process. Today, DPP providers boast an average rating of three out of four stars – which means children enrolled in DPP preschools are receiving a quality education that will better prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.”
Participation in DPP is open to all provider types: for‐profit, non‐profit, public and private providers. Preschool providers participating in DPP must agree to participate in DPP’s qualityrating system, and subsequently are eligible to receive quality‐improvement grants that can be used for classroom materials and supplies, professional development and coaching. In this way, DPP enhances the quality of the preschool experience for all children in the classroom.
"Having just opened the doors of our exciting new preschool program, we are thrilled to be part of DPP. We are a unique, play‐based part‐time program that embraces the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education of all children, including children with special needs," remarked Katie Thompson and Sharon Prairie, co‐directors of Inspire Preschool. "We intend to use the quality improvement dollars provided to us by DPP to enhance the ‘hundred languages of children’ by purchasing a light table for our children to creatively explore the wonders of light and shadow. We also intend to purchase materials to enhance math and science experiences including large incline blocks, pendulums, gears and pulleys."