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Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional kindergarten (TK) is a special program designed for students who turn 5 in the fall – and are not quite old enough to enroll in traditional kindergarten. A child is eligible for TK if they have their 5th birthday between September 2 and December 2 (inclusive).

TK is designed as the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate. A child who completes one year in a TK program, may continue in a kindergarten program for one additional year. Each elementary or unified school district must offer TK classes for all children eligible to attend.

Parents who are interested in this opportunity for their eligible children may contact their local school or district for TK information specific to their location.

Additional TK Information and Resources


California Department of Education (CDE) - Transitional Kindergarten webpage – Collection of resources and links (e.g., Frequently asked questions (FAQs), TK and K eligibility/admissions, early admission to TK, amendments, etc.). 

Transitional Kindergarten FAQs (CDE) – FAQs regarding California state law relating to kindergarten 

TK California (Early Edge Organization) – Website with information and resources

District Implementation

Transitional Kindergarten Implementation Guide (CCSESA, 2015) - Resources and guidance for administrators and teachers in the areas of program design, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and family/community partnerships 

TK Professional Resource Guide for Administrators (CCSSEA) - An annotated list of accessible online resources to support TK

Parent Engagement Toolkit 

TK Parent Brochure Template – District may customize to their program specifics

TK and the California Content Standards and Frameworks

TK Teacher Support

TK - Teacher Requirements (CDE FAQs): Information on the credentialing and additional requirements for TK Teachers.

TK - Online Professional Learning Modules: CDE and the Sacramento County Office of Education have developed free Transitional Kindergarten online Professional Learning Modules to support TK teachers and administrators.  Participants may also obtain continuing learning credit.  The modules and courses are free; however, there is a cost for obtaining continuing education units if desired.

Archived Resources 

TK Workgroup – Resources for Implementation (SDCOE, 2012): Developed by educators from across San Diego County to support early implementation of TK, and includes:

  • Preschool foundations and Common Core State Standards
  • Teacher Tips for CCSS – ELA and Mathematics
  • Reporting and Assessment Resources

Universal Transitional Kindergarten (2021-22)

"New" Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) Welcome to the San Diego County Office of Education’s website to support the efforts, alignment, and implementation of Universal PreKinergarten (UPK) to Third Grade (P-3). This page is designed to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with the most up-to-date information pertaining to the implementation of UTK as it relates to CDE requirements. Our goal is to provide LEAs with the most current and relevant content for the implementation of UTK and establish a network across San Diego County to support one another through the establishment of creating a new grade level. 

A Brief History and UTK Rationale 

In 2010 with the approval of the Kindergarten Readiness Act, Transitional Kindergarten became available for 4 year olds who turned 5 between the dates of Sept. 2 to Dec. 2. While this shift in legislation provided support for this identified group of students, it did not include public learning opportunities for our younger learners who no longer qualified for public preschool due to their age and who were not yet old enough to enroll in a Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten classroom. Universal Transitional Kindergarten is scheduled to begin its’ rolout in the fall of 2022 for some Local Educational Agencies. UTK  envisions equitable access and programs for 4 year olds regardless of income.  Research shows that children are more successful in school and beyond if they are given a strong foundation in the earliest years of their lives. In addition, high quality teaching and learning programs can support  brain development. The state of California is on the forefront of this change dedicating billions of dollars to plan and equip our school buildings with quality teachers and facilities in order to support our youngest learners in equitable ways. Thus, providing students with learning opportunities that will support and guide them as they enter successfully into  the K-12 arena. 

Putting It All Together Series Begins Jan. 26

The San Diego County Office of Education P3- UTK Team invites you to join us for a series of interactive workshops designed to support school districts with the development of the Universal Prekindergarten Planning and Implementation Grant Program – Planning Template. 
The sessions are tailored to guide participants through the five California Department of Education focus areas indicated in the planning template:
A. Vision and Coherence
B. Community Engagement and Partnerships
C. Workforce Recruitment and Professional Learning
D. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
E. LEA Facilities, Services, and Operations

In order to provide ample support to your district teams, we revised our original PIAT model for support in light of the recently released planning template (template released on December 17, 2022). All previously determined dates continue to be accurate, yet our model for support will involve networking and workshopping that is template-driven in order to be responsive to the recommended CDE timeline. 
PIAT Dates 
  • Session #1- January 26 from 10-12:00pm
  • Session #2 - February 17 from 9-11:00am
  • Session #3 - March 3 from 1-3:00pm
  • Session #4- March 23 from 9-11:00am
  • Session #5 - April 7 from 1-3:00pm
Please access the registration link here.

UPK-UTK Information and Resources

UPK Planning Resources


Universal PreKindergarten FAQs (California Department of Education)
Funding Logistics 
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Requirements
Teacher Workforce

The Role of California State Preschool (CSPP) Providers in Universal Prekindergarten (UPK)

Assembly Bill 130

Assembly Bill 167

Preschool through Third Grade (P-3) Alignment (California Department of Education)

Universal Transitional Kindergarten | Quick Guide (Ed Source)

K12 Education: State Allocations and Grant Funding Opportunities

Early Childhood Education: State Allocations and Grant Funding Opportunities

Monthly Publication

Want to stay up-to-date with UPK-P3 (UTK) information? Sign-up here to receive our monthly publication. To subscribe to Universal PreKindergarten to Third Grade (P-3) publication:

To view our monthly publication archives click here.

SDCOE and CDE Presentations 

San Diego County Office of Education P3-UTK Presentations link
California Department of Education P3-UTK Presentations link

Please check again as this page will be updated with new information!