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Preschool Through Third Grade (P-3) Education
PCOE Public Facing Web Site

 Preschool Through Third Grade (P-3) Education

P-3 Children doing crafts with teacher


​P-3 encompasses the range of children’s learning experiences from preschool through third grade. The vision for P-3 alignment is to improve the quality and coherence of children’s learning opportunities, from the experiences children have in early learning (or before formal entry into school) and extending through elementary school.  


If you are a parent of a preschool through third grade child/ren please view the information included on the parent tab below. You will find information about Universal PreKindergarten, Transitional Kindergarten, and prekindergarten programs.

If you are a current educator, or interested in teaching early education, please view the information included on the educator tab below. You will find information about grant funding and the PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential.


 Parent Tab

​​What is UPK?

UPK stands for Universal PreKindergarten and it is an umbrella term that includes the California State Preschool Program (CSPP), TK, as well as Head Start, district and local community-based preschool programs, early learning services for students with disabilities, private pay preschool, and expanded learning options to support access to a full day of services.

While participation in UPK and choice of which program is optional, TK is the only option within the broader UPK frame that will be universally available, and free of cost, for all four-year old children as part of California’s public education system.

California’s goal is to serve more children ages 3-to 4-years-old, statewide, in high-quality preschool programs. California intends to meet this goal through the implementation of universally available TK, as well as investments in other state-funded programs, such as funding to expand the CSPP and other state-subsidized programs that offer a preschool learning experience.

In 2021, legislation was passed that requires any local educational agency (LEA) operating a Kindergarten to also provide a TK program for all 4-year-old children by 2025–26. UTK means that by 2025–26, regardless of background, race, zip code, immigration status, or income level, every child will have access to TK as a quality learning experience the year before Kindergarten.

What prekindergarten programs may parents choose from?

Transitional kindergarten (TK) is a universally accessible and free program for age-eligible four-year-old children (to be available at no-cost to all four-year-old children by the 2025-26 school year) and parents may choose to enroll their children in a TK program or any other prekindergarten program for which the family is eligible including, but not limited to, the California State Preschool Program (CSPP), Head Start, in addition to subsidized programs administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). TK is not mandatory for children. Families who choose to enroll their children in TK remain eligible for subsidized early learning and care programs, including, but not limited to part-day CSPP, and will be able to choose to send their child to those programs, space permitting, as long as the hours of operation do not overlap with the hours of TK. Families may also continue to choose to enroll their children in private preschool or prekindergarten programs or keep their children at home until the age of six, when compulsory education begins.

What is TK?

TK stands for transitional kindergarten and uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate and based on California's Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks.

When is my child eligible for TK?

The age at which children are eligible for TK changes from 2022–23 to 2025–26.

  • In the 2022–23 school year, children who will turn five years old between September 2 and February 2* are eligible for TK.
  • In the 2023–24 school year, children who will turn five years old between September 2 and April 2* are eligible for TK.
  • In the 2024–25 school year, children who turn five years old between September 2 and June 2* are eligible for TK.​
  • In the 2025–26 school ye​​ar, and in each school year thereafter, children who will turn four years old by September 1* are eligible for TK.

*Inclusive of these dates

Key links:

 Educator Tab

Is there grant funding available for those pursuing a career in preschool, TK, or Kindergarten?

Yes! To check your elligibility, click here. To complete an application, click the Key Link below.

What are the requirements to teach TK?

Please view the requirements for transitional kindergarten teacher credentials here.
TK Teacher Credential Requirements​​ (​Expand Question #2, under Teacher Workforce​​)

What is a PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential?

Please find more information about the PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential here.
PK-3 ECE Specialist Credential​

PK-3 Early Childhood Education (ECE) credential - The regulatory packet submitted to the Office of Administrative Law is still moving through the approval process. The packet will establish the credential requirements in law. Therefore, PK-3 ECE credential, and PK-3 ECE credential program updates are not available until the regulatory package has been approved.

Key links:



Kaelin Morris

P-3 Coordinator

(530) 745-1385



​Daniel Mendoza

Program Manager

(916) 415-4420​


 Event Spotlight

Colored Pencils.jpg​​

Save the Date

​Summer TK Bootcamp

August 2 & 3, 2023