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Preparing children for success in kindergarten and beyond

P-3 Alignment: Universal Prekindergarten to 3rd Grade

An estimated 90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten. That’s one reason why the state is providing support to expand transitional kindergarten to include all 4-year-olds and strengthen the program coherence between prekindergarten to 3rd grade, known as P-3 alignment.

The San Diego County Office of Education is helping local educational agencies provide high-quality prekindergarten (pre-K) by connecting them with information on current transitional kindergarten programs, the latest details on universal transitional kindergarten, and best practices that align curricula, assessment, and professional learning for P-3 alignment. The California Department of Education’s P-3 alignment efforts step from a belief that gaps in opportunities and learning outcomes require system-level reform to address biases and disrupt inequities.

With a focus on equity, the SDCOE P-3 team aims to support LEAs as they help children build on knowledge and skills as they transition across grades and settings. A year of high-quality pre-K sets students up for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Transitional kindergarten (TK) refers to the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum which is developmentally- and age-appropriate. Universal transitional kindergarten is a TK program available to all 4-year-old children statewide at no cost to families. Universal prekindergarten refers to the continuum of high-quality programs, including TK, state preschool, Head Start, general childcare, and community-based early learning and care providers, that can be layered and wrapped to create rich, early-learning opportunities for all children during the year before kindergarten, regardless of income.

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Erin Dare

Sr Director, Child Family Succ

Christina Fekas-Gorman

Administrative Assistant III