• Early Childhood

    Lamb Caro

    Lamb Caro
    Early Childhood Administrator

    About Thompson School District Early Childhood/Preschool Program


    For the 2022-2023 school year: 

    • Children must be either 3 or 4 years old on or before October 1 to be eligible for preschool in the Thompson School District.
    • Children who have turned 5 years old on or before October 1 are not eligible for preschool in the Thompson School District. They are eligible for kindergarten services and families are encouraged to contact their home elementary school for information.
    • Early Childhood/Preschool offers options for families that include free preschool and tuition-based preschool at 13 different locations around the Berthoud/Loveland communities.
    • Children are placed throughout the school year as openings become available. Children eligible for Head Start, Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) or tuition-based are placed on a wait list until an opening becomes available. The parent of a child who meets that criteria is then contacted.
    • Families may be eligible for one of the following free preschool options in the Thompson School District Early Childhood Program:

    based on any or all of the following factors:

          • income,
          • social skills,
          • child health and developmental information,
          • or more.


    • There are a limited number of tuition-based slots (50 throughout the program) for families who do not meet the criteria for free preschool. Placement is done through a lottery system.
    • Priority for enrollment will be given to children who live within the attendance area of the requested preschool. Parents may request a preschool outside of their attendance area and students will be placed if openings are available.
    • If a child is attending a preschool outside of their attendance area, they are not guaranteed a placement in the kindergarten program at that same school. If they wish to attend kindergarten at that same school, they will need to complete the open enrollment application process.
    • Preschool class sizes are limited to 16 children. Please note that some of the slots may have already been filled by children who are in their second year of preschool. Also, 208 slots are reserved for children placed through the Colorado Preschool Program, 139 slots are reserved for Head Start, 50 slots are reserved for tuition pay option and the remaining slots are used by the Special Education Program/Child Find.
    • Children who qualify for Special Education, Head Start, or the Colorado Preschool Program are placed according to need.
    • Tuition pay children are placed through the lottery system.
    • Requests will be considered for preference regarding morning and afternoon sessions, but not all requests can be honored. As a program, we work to balance all of the classrooms and this will be a factor in determining placement into the morning or afternoon session.

    Call 970-613-5052 or 970-613-5761 for help or with questions.



    • Parents are responsible for transporting preschoolers in the tuition-based program. 
    • School transportation is limited and is not guaranteed. There is a separate application process for children in Head Start, Colorado Preschool Program and Special Education Program.
    • The application is available for completion at the registration appointment (to be set up specifically when an opening becomes available that their child is eligible for). 


    Head Start

    • Head Start is a Federal program designed to meet the needs of 3 and 4 year old children and low-income families through a Grant following income guidelines set by the U.S. Government. Early Childhood is allotted 139 slots for children who qualify for Head Start.
    • This comprehensive program works both with children and families to promote social competence and remove barriers to success.

    If you have questions call 970-613-5052.

    Colorado Preschool Program (CPP)

    • The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) is a state-funded program designed to provide 3 or 4 year old children who are at risk for school failure with a preschool experience. The program currently has 208 slots for children who qualify for CPP.
    • Eligibility for this program is determined by your child’s age and family dynamics. Three year olds must have at least three risk criteria and four year olds must have at least one risk criteria to be eligible for this program.
    • A variety of factors will be considered including:
      • income (free or reduced lunch qualified)
      • social skills (prior group experience)
      • frequent moves
      • history of drug or alcohol abuse 

    Our goal is to make sure your child has the very best start in education and this process will help us guide you.

    If you have any questions please call 970 613-5761.


    Child Find/Special Education

    • The purpose of the Child Find program is to locate and identify preschool-aged children who live within the District boundaries and demonstrate significant delay in one or more of the following areas:
      • Academic/Intellectual (early learning/concepts, thinking, problem solving, preschool access skills)
      • Communication (articulation, language, fluency and voice)
      • Motor (fine gross sensory)
      • Social/Emotional/Behavioral
      • Self-help
      • Hearing and vision
    • Children can be referred to Child Find by a parent, doctor or other agency. The process may begin with a developmental screening and when appropriate, a comprehensive multi-disciplinary evaluation may be conducted to determine eligibility for preschool special education services. 

    Child Find is available to families at no cost.

    Call Trish Hoffman, Child Find Coordinator, at 970-613-5762 with any questions.



    • Early Childhood/Preschool has 50 tuition pay slots across the Thompson School District available to those who do not qualify for the no-cost options.
    • Placement is done through a lottery system and is held on March 5th. Notification of acceptance letters will be mailed on March 11th.
    • Tuition pay applications received after 4:00 pm on March 4th will be placed on a wait list in the order they are received. Parents will be contacted when/if an opening becomes available for their child.
    • Tuition pay applications for the following year are accepted starting December 1st and will be considered for the lottery placement held on March 5th for that school year.
    • Children who are currently enrolled as a 3 year old in the tuition program will not need to fill out a new application. They will automatically be re-enrolled in the tuition program as a 4 year old.
    • Tuition Costs for 2022-2023 School Year:
          • $280/month ($2,800/year) for 3 - hour/day program
          • $290/month ($2,900/year) for 3 ½ - hour/day program

    Tuition is divided into 10 payments. The first payment is due at the time of acceptance into the program and the additional nine payments are due monthly on the first of the month beginning September 1 through May 1.

    If you have a question, please call 970-613-5761.