Transitional Kindergarten

The Kindergarten Readiness Act is an education reform designed to help ensure that California children are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

The legislation changes the requirements for kindergarten entry from five years old by December 2 to five years old by September 1, so that all children enter kindergarten at age five. The new law amends the Education Code relating to kindergarten to create Transitional Kindergarten (TK), the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience for students born between September and December. This gives four-year-olds with fall birthdays an additional year of preparation before entering kindergarten.

The Transitional Kindergarten program will be phased in over three years and be fully implemented by 2014.

  • In 2012-13, children who have their fifth birthday between November 2 and December 2 will be admitted to a Transitional Kindergarten program maintained by the local school district.
  • In 2013-14, children who have their fifth birthday between October 2 and December 2 will be admitted to the Transitional Kindergarten program.
  • In 2014-15 and each school year thereafter, children who have their fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2 will be admitted to the Transitional Kindergarten program.

LCOE is supporting local schools in implementing the Kindergarten Readiness Act. A Transitional Kindergarten Network has been formed to bring together school administrators, teachers, and early childhood educators. The goal is to encourage collaboration and promote the development of high-quality TK programs.


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