DENVER (KDVR) — Universal pre-K is one step closer to becoming a reality for thousands of Colorado families.

Gov. Polis signed a bill Monday that would assign the newly-created Department of Early Childhood the responsibility of rolling out the state’s new program for universal pre-K.

The program is expected to save Colorado families on average $4,300 per year and offers 10 hours per week of free preschool education the year before entering kindergarten. It is expected to start by the fall of 2023.

Universal Pre-K was overwhelmingly approved by voters in the 2020 election, with 67% voting in favor of Proposition EE: an incremental tax on cigarettes and nicotine products to fund the program.

You can watch the bill signing on FOX31 NOW in the player above.