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Universal Pre-Kindergarten

Preparing Children For

Kindergarten & Beyond

Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) is an initiative aimed at expanding the early education offerings for 3 and 4-year-old children and their families in California. As part of the state’s mixed delivery system, UPK seeks to provide access to high-quality early education, including Transitional Kindergarten (TK), which will be offered free of charge to all 4-year-olds by the academic year 2025-2026.

Through the expansion of UPK and the introduction of TK, California aims to transform its education system and provide every student with a strong educational foundation. These initiatives help ensure that children have access to high-quality early education, setting them on a path toward future success.

UPK/TK Contacts

Mayra Patey
Director II, Early Childhood Education



Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that focuses on a developmentally appropriate curriculum aligned with the California Preschool Foundations. TK programs are integrated into the public school system and taught by qualified teachers specializing in educating young children. These programs provide engaging learning environments that cater to the social-emotional and cognitive needs of young learners.

To be eligible for TK, students must turn 5 years old within specific date ranges determined by the academic year. TCSOS plays a vital role in supporting Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with the planning and integration of UPK. TCSOS provides technical assistance to ensure the successful implementation of UPK programs within the county.

Students eligible for TK must have their 5th birthday by:

  • 2023-24 between September 2 and April 2, 2024
  • 2024-25 between September 2 and June 2, 2025
  • 2025-26 all who will turn 4 years old by September 1 will be eligible to attend TK.




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