DENVER (CBS4) – A new preschool opened its doors in Denver on Tuesday.

Pascual LeDoux Academy is the first early-education center in the southwest part of the city. Denver Public Schools says it opened the school to expand public access to 3 and 4 year olds.

Right now there are nearly 300 students enrolled at the school and hundreds more on a waiting list.

Sen. Michael Bennet says it is crucial to offer early-education programs because it leads to lower dropout rates in high school.

“You can ask any kindergarten teacher in any school district in the country whether it’s important for children, 4 year olds and even 3 year olds, to have access to high quality education, and they will tell you, absolutely the answer is ‘yes,’ “ Bennet said.

The school was built with money from a bond and a property tax increase passed by voters in 2012.