New Funding Extends Summer Programming to More Children

DENVER - June 23 - Clayton Early Learning, a leader in early childhood education, research and training, is excited to announce that, thanks to new funding from the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), more children will have the opportunity to stay in school over the summer, bridging the gap between preschool and kindergarten.

Clayton is one of about 250 preschools available through DPP, which is a nine-year-old, voter-approved program created to connect Denver's families with high-quality preschools. At Clayton Early Learning, DPP funding makes up about 3.6 percent of the revenue for the institution's two Denver schools and helps more than 72 children attend Clayton's quality early education programming. Several of those children would be unable to attend the summer program without the new DPP funding because of the additional financial strain that paying full tuition for the summer would cause the children's parents.

The amount of tuition parents must pay for the summer months increases substantially when supplemental funding comes to an end. The extension of the DPP funding means families who receive the funding throughout the regular school year are not faced with the decision of whether to take a child out of school for the summer to stay with a family member or unlicensed home provider, or to take on extra work to compensate for the hike in tuition for the three months leading up to kindergarten.

It's important that children stay in school through the summer to prevent summer learning loss, also known as "the summer slide."

"It's imperative that children have access to summer preschool because children who enter kindergarten without having had a program over those months may be at a disadvantage compared to their peers who remained in summer programming to prepare for kindergarten," says Clayton Early Learning President and CEO Charlotte Brantley. "Transitioning from summer complacency is challenging for children of any age, but can be particularly difficult for young children who struggle to adjust to transitions and the behavioral expectations of a formal classroom."

Teachers use the summer months to prepare children for kindergarten and the transition to new schools. The daily activities include experiential learning opportunities and field trips that serve to prepare children and their families academically, socially and emotionally for the milestone transition from preschool to kindergarten.

Clayton educators also work with families over the summer to help them support the children's transition to kindergarten by coaching parents on methods they can use every day to help sharpen the kids' kindergarten readiness. In particular, parents receive coaching in the dialogic method of reading and are encouraged to read to their children every day. Parents are also coached on how to build their children's literacy skills through means like counting objects and identifying letters on traffic signs.

By extending DPP funding throughout the summer months, more children will receive these crucial services that have been proven to substantially impact a child's likeliness to be successful in their kindergarten year.
 
Contact Clayton Early Learning President and CEO Charlotte Brantley directly at 303.398.8578 or cbrantley@claytonearlylearning.org.

About Clayton Early Learning
Clayton Early Learning, a 501(c)(3), is Colorado's leading catalyst in providing early care and education to ensure optimal development for all children, especially those of limited opportunities. We harness the synergy of four dynamic initiatives - classroom and family-centered practices in our schools, research and program evaluation, professional development of teachers and leaders and effective policy advocacy - to spark improved early care and education approaches statewide in collaboration with other public and private entities.
Visit www.claytonearlylearning.org for more information.