In 2021, SB 976, the Universal Preschool Act, was written into law in the State of California. SB 976 is transforming existing law, The Early Education Act, into the Universal Preschool Act. While The Early Education Act was designed to provide inclusive and cost-effective preschool throughout the state, the aim of the Universal Preschool Act is to provide a universal preschool program that will be free and available to all 3 and 4 year olds in the state by 2025-2026. Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) is an umbrella term that consists of Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) in addition to other programs and services that families can leverage to meet the needs of their children.
The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) was established by the California State Legislature and Governor to advise and assist local educational agencies (LEAs), including districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, to achieve the goals and objectives in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). As such, CCEE aims to help LEAs integrate UPK and support their needs by fostering partnerships, working with community partners, providing universal supports related to braided and blending of funding, and sharing resources.
CCEE, in collaboration with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), produced a tool that generates uniquely tailored blending, braiding, and layering funding options for every LEA. The tool also includes an extensive resource hub.
Watch UPK interviews from Bakersfield City School District, Panama-Buena Vista USD, and Lamont Elementary School District.