Universal Transitional Kindergarten on the Horizon: what are the implications for Oakland?
Over the next four years (2022-2026), Transitional Kindergarten (TK) will expand statewide to include all four-year-olds. This is a major structural shift in the mixed-delivery system of care for our youngest Californians.
With an additional year of public school, Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) will provide free education to Oakland’s children at an earlier age and may offer improved curriculum alignment between early education and existing K-12 systems.
Yet without careful and equitable implementation that centers the needs of the children, families, and early educators who will be most directly impacted, UTK may pose challenges for working parents, hinder developmentally-appropriate care for young children, and destabilize the early care and education field by removing 4-year-olds from child care settings.