New Bill Proposes Universal Preschool

Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced a bill to provide universal preschool to all four year olds in the state of California.

“Adopting universal preschool is an investment in our future that will pay dividends for years to come," said Senator Dodd. “As a father and a grandfather, I know that there is no more precious resource than our young people. We need to step up our investment in the next generation. Universal preschool is absolutely essential for economic vitality and social mobility.”

Around 170,000 California children who are eligible for publicly funded preschool are not enrolled because there are not enough spots available. Research shows that a high-quality one-year universal preschool program in California would generate between $2 and $4 in benefits for every dollar invested.

“Access to high quality preschool has powerful effects on children's educational outcomes and is critical for a thriving California moving forward,” said Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense.

In 2010, California created transitional kindergarten to serve as a “bridge” from preschool to kindergarten. As the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience, students born between September 2 and December 2 are eligible for admission.

Research shows that children enrolled in transitional kindergarten experience higher test scores, are equipped with better social skills and more confidence, and are less likely to be held back a grade.


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