Latino parents aren’t happy with southwest Denver preschool options, report saysBy Ann Schimke
(Read the whole report by clicking here)
A new report focused on southwest Denver sheds light on the difficulties some Latino parents face finding affordable, high-quality preschool spots for their kids.
The report, released Wednesday by the advocacy group Padres & Jovenes Unidos, found that some parents who responded to the group’s community survey were placed on waiting lists at sought-after preschool sites. Others found open slots, but only at centers with Level 1 ratings, the lowest of five tiers on the state’s child care rating system, Colorado Shines.
Officials from Denver Public Schools, interviewed by phone, say more could be done to connect parents with preschool options in southwest Denver, but too few slots isn’t the main problem there. Such shortages are more pressing in pockets of southeast Denver, they say.
DPS Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova, who spoke at the report release event at the Corky Gonzalez branch of the Denver Public Library, said expanding preschool access is a key strategy for the district, but noted that the state plays a major role in preschool funding and other early childhood issues.
Provide free full-day preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds from low to moderate income families.
Prohibit suspensions and expulsions in preschool.
Require preschool providers to adopt consistent policies to meet the needs of dual-language learners.
Fund preschool appropriately so that all employees earn a living wage.
Ensure preschool staff are trained on classroom management, implicit bias, developmentally appropriate discipline methods, dual language instruction and the use of inclusive culturally affirming practices.
“Let’s start talking about the legislative agenda we want to push forward,” she said.