Children’s Campaign statement on access to Universal Preschool Programs

Children’s Campaign statement on access to Universal Preschool Programs


August 23rd, 2023

All Colorado families, students, and staff, regardless of their backgrounds and identities, should be welcome in preschools that participate in Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program. 

A recent lawsuit filed by the Denver Archdiocese, St. Mary’s, and St. Bernadette’s aims to allow providers that discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, families, and staff to participate in the Universal Preschool Program.  

We support the Department of Early Childhood in building a program where providers enroll children regardless of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, lack of housing, income level or disability. This approach supports the right of parents to choose the early childhood programs and services that best fit their circumstances, without the threat of discrimination added to the challenges they already may face finding or affording care. Preschool providers also should not be excluded from any classroom based on their LGBTQ+ identity. 

All preschool settings, including faith-based programs, are an important part of Colorado’s early care and education ecosystem. Faith-based providers are currently participating in UPK and are welcome to use faith-based curricula during academic hours that are not funded by the state. These providers accept all students, families and staff into their programs, regardless of their backgrounds or identities. The Colorado Department of Early Childhood has worked closely with many faith-based providers with an interest in participating in Universal Preschool.  

Access to safe, nurturing, supportive environments and adults leads to better academic and social outcomes for children. Attempts to exclude children from publicly-funded programs based on their or their family’s LGBTQ+ identity amount to discrimination and would have negative consequences for this state’s youngest residents and their families. 


About Colorado Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit