Early Edge California advocated for Universal Preschool for all four-year-olds through expanded Transitional Kindergarten (TK) in California. In 2021, we celebrated the monumental achievement of the inclusion of Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) in the CA state budget. The state’s new $2.7 billion program will be phased in over a four-year period, between the 2022-23 to 2025-26 school years, until all 4-year-olds have the opportunity to attend a high-quality, developmentally appropriate TK program and enter Kindergarten prepared to learn and thrive.
Early Edge will continue partnering with Early Learning stakeholders across the state to support the successful implementation of this Universal Preschool option for all 4-year-olds in California.
Transitional Kindergarten: The Case for TK for All
Early Edge’s History with TK
Put Proposition 82, the Preschool For All Initiative, on the ballot to give all California 4-year-olds a constitutional right to free preschool. Though the initiative was defeated, we built a network of support that could be aimed at future advocacy efforts.
TK was created in California as a result of our advocacy efforts. This new grade level bridges preschool and Kindergarten. It was adopted through the Kindergarten Readiness Act (Senate Bill 1381), which we co-sponsored with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Supported more than 900 school districts as they implemented TK. We provided technical information, connected experts to districts, held conferences and webinars, and worked with experts to develop TKCalifornia.org.
The California budget language stated the intent of the Legislature was for TK to be aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations. The budget required newly assigned TK teachers to have early childhood education coursework, experience, or a Child Development Permit. It also directed the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to review and update requirements for Child Development Permits.
We advocated for the largest increase to child development in more than a decade. The result: more than $250 million in new, ongoing state investments including 11,500 additional preschool spaces.
We sponsored the Preschool for All Act (Assembly Bill 47), which aimed to set a firm deadline for California to provide quality preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds. Though vetoed by Governor Brown, AB 47 led to an additional $300 million in child care and development funding.
We defended the rights of 80,000 children to TK. We continue to support TK implementation in partnership with the New Teacher Center through our annual TK Conference.
TK is shown to give children an academic advantage when they enter Kindergarten, according to a five-year study. It also improves language, literacy, and math skills for English Learner (EL) students.
The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC): Making California for All Kids was released by the California Health and Human Services Agency in December 2020.
We advocated for Universal Preschool for all four-year-olds through expanded TK in California and celebrated the monumental achievement of the inclusion of Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) in the CA state budget. The state’s new $2.7 billion program will be phased in over 4 years, beginning in 2022.
TKCalifornia, a newly redesigned website from Early Edge California, is an online hub for finding easy-to-use resources for administrators, teachers, and parents as California expands Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to serve all 4-year-olds. Read our TKCalifornia website flyer to learn more or to share this resource electronically or via print.
Watch the recording of our Celebrating TK: Stories from the Field & Website Launch event held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.