How Transitional Kindergarten Helps Younger Children Prepare for School
Created in 2010 by the Kindergarten Readiness Act, transitional kindergarten offers younger children in California additional time to prepare for school. Transitional kindergarten, the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience for students with birthdays between September and December, provides an additional year of early education to thousands of children each year, with the goal of promoting their school readiness.
Supported by its partners, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and First 5 California, AIR is studying the impact of transitional kindergarten in California on children’s academic and social-emotional skills in kindergarten, and how these impacts are related to program quality characteristics.
Key findings from the final report show that students who attend California’s transitional kindergarten program enter kindergarten with stronger mathematics and literacy skills and are more engaged in their learning than students who did not attend transitional kindergarten. The program shows an advantage for all students, with particular benefits for English learners and low-income students, and its benefits hold up regardless of variations in instructional practices or classroom structure.
Explore additional resources that show what we’ve learned about transitional kindergarten so far: