LACOE supports the development and expansion of early learning programs to provide this opportunity for all four-year-old children by 2025-26.

In alignment with California's implementation of Universal Prekindergarten (UPK), LACOE is supporting school district and charter schools to achieve a mixed service delivery system that promotes parent choice and aligns the early learning and TK-12 systems, which will ultimately help children and families meet school readiness outcomes.

LACOE's UPK vision is to align the early learning and TK-12 systems in support of P-3 alignment. LACOE is networking and collaborating with local educational agencies and other community partners to ensure a true mixed delivery system that brings together all early learning programs, including transitional kindergarten (TK). LACOE offers virtual and in-person professional learning opportunities and technical assistance, including TK teacher institutes, TK Communities of Practice, a UTK administrators' institute, early learning book studies, and more.


Transitional kindergarten (TK) refers to a developmentally appropriate program that focuses on the whole child; it uses a curriculum with a play- and project-based approach; provides a daily focus on language, literacy, and math; and supports social and emotional development. Universal transitional kindergarten is a TK program available to all 4-year-old children statewide at no cost to families.

Preschool through third grade (P-3) alignment “includes both horizontal and vertical alignment and coherence across grades and systems to improve coordination of policies and practices in preschool, across transitions to Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten, and through third grade and beyond." (Source: California Department of Education)

Image showing the relationship between P-3, UPK and TK programming

Image showing how UPK bridges early learning and TK-12 programming

Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) brings together Transitional Kindergarten (TK), California State Preschools (CSPP), Head Start (HS), private preschools, and childcare, and before & after-school programs to partner so that families have access to a preschool learning experience and full day extended learning and care that meets their needs. The program options can be layered and wrapped to create rich, early-learning opportunities for all children during the year before kindergarten, regardless of income.


Click on the options below to learn more about our upcoming activities.

Target Audience: Administrators, teachers, providers, and others who serve young children in early learning settings (e.g., TK or preschool classrooms, family childcare).

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs

Overview: This book addresses developmentally appropriate practice within the context of the ever-changing and evolving world of early education.

Creating Equitable Early Learning Environments for Young Boys of Color

Overview: This book provides a helpful roadmap for improving racial equity through strengthening racial awareness, addressing implicit bias, and creating culturally responsive environments for boys of color and their families.

The Powerful Role of Play in Early Education

Overview: This book explores the critical role of play for children, particularly in TK and early education.

We are so excited to offer this unique professional learning opportunity for TK teachers and instructional coaches to be part of this community of practice (CoP). This approach allows participants to obtain the most current research-based curriculum, instruction, strategies, and assessment approaches that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate for four-year-old children. Participants can share knowledge and best practices through facilitated conversations with their early-learning colleagues. Each CoP session will focus on a specific topic of interest or problem of practice impacting TK classroom practices.


The UPK virtual, interactive sessions provide a space for LEAs and Charter Schools to network, support, and create valuable partnerships. 

Obtain UPK planning and implementation updates to address all focus areas. In addition, partners can identify resources, training, technical assistance, and support.



Norma Fregoso-Graciano, M.Ed.
Early Learning Coordinator III, Interim
Office: 562-922-6064

Ama Holmes, M.Ed.
Early Learning Coordinator II
Office: 562-401-5672