Some parents in small Colorado town say all-day kindergarten badly needed

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SIMLA, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis’ push for full-day kindergarten is moving forward.

Some parents in Simla in Elbert County say the program is badly needed.

Full-day kindergarten classes are not currently offered in the town of 618.

“For me, longer days would be more attention for my kid and it also would help us out as parents,” said Meghan Zollars, a mother of two. She said she and her husband work long, odd hours and there are limited childcare options in town.

“Not that kindergarten is daycare, but it does take away from needing daycare,” Zollars said.

The Big Sandy School District does offer half-day kindergarten classes, but the lack of funding prevented the district from extending hours.

“We didn’t do that because sometimes, people say, ‘You’re going to have the money.’ And the money never comes through,” said superintendent Steve Wilson.

There are currently only 20 kindergartners in the small town.

Simla resident Andy Kissam has a son who will soon be going into kindergarten. He’s aware only half-day classes exist, but is unsure whether his child needs a full-day program.

“I see both sides and I don’t think it’s the best thing or the worst thing,” Kissam said.

Many parents in the small community are watching to see if their schools get full-day kindergarten classes.

The bill will be heard next month at the Capitol, where people from across the state are expected to share their thoughts on the potential program.

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