Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Transitional Kindergarten FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding California state law relating to kindergarten.

The California Department of Education (CDE) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson fully support the transitional kindergarten (TK) program.

TK Teacher Information
California TK Stipends
Admission Information
Funding and Reporting Information
Program Information
Instructional Minutes Information
Related Resources

Recent Amendment to Education Code (EC) 48000(c) effective July 1, 2015; please see Admission Information Question # 3

TK Teacher Information

  1. Do TK teachers need to have a teaching credential?

    Yes, in California, TK teachers need to have a teaching credential, just like kindergarten teachers. Credentials that authorize instruction in TK programs are provided below:

    General:
    Kindergarten-Primary (grades K-3)
    Elementary (grades K-8)

    Standard:
    Early Childhood (grades preschool-3)
    Elementary (grades K-9)

    Ryan/Senate Bill (SB) 2042:
    Multiple Subject (grades preschool, K-12 and adults)
    Multiple Subject University Intern (grades preschool, K-12 and adults)
    Multiple Subject District Intern (grades K-8)
    Specialist Instruction Credential in Early Childhood Education

    A Multiple Subject General Education Limited Assignment Permit (GELAP), Multiple Subject Short-Term Staff Permit (STSP) or Multiple Subject Provisional Internship Permit (PIP) authorizes the same service as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

  2. What credentials authorize instruction for Special Education teachers to teach TK students? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    The appropriate credential for serving in a TK or TK/kindergarten self-contained special education classroom would be the same credential authorized for an individual to serve in a kindergarten self-contained special education classroom.

    The Special Education Authorization Chart provides grade level authorizations and authorized disability categories. (Note: If kindergarten is authorized then TK is authorized as it is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program). Special education teaching credentials with specialty areas that authorize service in TK and/or TK/kindergarten self-contained special education classrooms may provide instruction to students identified with a federal disability category that falls within the specialty area of their credential. A teacher must hold a credential and appropriate specialty area authorization to serve each of the disability categories for each student in the class as set forth in an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  1. What is the impact of Senate Bill 876 (Statutes 2014, Chapter 687) – EC 48000(g) – on TK Requirements?

    SB 876 added additional requirements for TK teachers. Pursuant to EC 48000(g), a school district or charter school shall ensure that credentialed teachers who are first assigned to a TK classroom after July 1, 2015, have, by August 1, 2020, one of the following:

    1. At least 24 units in early childhood education, or childhood development, or both.
    2. As determined by the local educational agency employing the teacher, professional experience in a classroom setting with preschool age children that is comparable to the 24 units of education described in bullet 1.
    3. A child development teacher permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

    Any current credentialed teacher who is or was assigned to teach TK, or a combination class of kindergarten and TK, on or before July 1, 2015, is “grandfathered in” to teach TK without having to meet additional requirements. Any credentialed teacher assigned to teach TK, or a combination class of kindergarten and TK, after July 1, 2015, will have until August 1, 2020, to meet the above-mentioned education requirements.

    In addition to addressing teacher requirements, EC 48000(f) states: “It is the intent of the Legislature that transitional kindergarten curriculum be aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations developed by the department.”

  2. Scenario 1: If teachers taught TK two years ago and then taught kindergarten this past year and wanted to return to TK next year after July 1, 2015, would they meet the grandfathered in requirement? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Scenario 2: If teachers taught TK in 2014—15 and then taught first grade in 2015—16 and 2016—17 would they be grandfathered in if they were reassigned in 2017—18 to teach TK? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Both scenarios above illustrate that a current credentialed teacher who is or was assigned to teach TK, or a combination class of kindergarten and TK, on or before July 1, 2015, is “grandfathered in” to teach TK without having to meet additional requirements.

  1. In EC 48000(g), are the terms “assigned” and “taught” interchangeable? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    The term “assigned” means that a credentialed teacher is directed or hired to teach TK. This TK teacher may or may not have taught a TK student prior to July 1, 2015. Therefore, the terms assigned and taught are not necessarily interchangeable.

  1. What specific courses must teachers take in order to meet the 24-unit requirement? Do the courses need to have Early Childhood Development (ECD) prefixes? Also, can the courses be graduate and/or undergraduate units?

    Any teacher who is assigned to teach TK on or after July 1, 2015, will have until August 1, 2020, to meet the education requirements stated in EC 48000(g) (see requirements in Question 3). The CDE will not create an approved course list for 24 units in early childhood education, or childhood development, or both. As of the date of last review of this CDE Web page, any early childhood education or child development graduate or undergraduate units are appropriate. A candidate must have earned a “C” grade or above in each non-remedial course to be accepted. “Non-remedial” coursework is applicable toward an associate of arts degree or higher at a regionally accredited institution of higher education primarily related to children ages five years or younger. Individuals needing additional guidance related to these requirements are encouraged to speak to their current or prospective employing school district.

    Local planning councils (LPCs), county offices of education (COE), and the Child Development Training Consortium (CDTC) can be resources regarding what classes are available in your community and online. (See contact information at the bottom of this Web page.)

  2. Who will monitor a teacher’s progress to ensure the new TK teacher requirements are being met? How should local educational agencies (LEAs) document and keep records for teachers assigned to teach TK after July 1, 2015? Will CDE have forms employers need to fill out to certify the teachers’ qualifications?

    LEAs are responsible for ensuring that TK teachers meet statutory requirements (EC 44258.3). The LEA of the credentialed teacher will follow the local process for personnel record keeping and will ensure the new TK teacher requirements are being met. The CDE will not provide forms for LEAs to complete regarding the verification of experience and education.

  3. Can TK teachers “loop” (remain) with their students into kindergarten?

    The decision to have teachers move through the grades with their students from TK to kindergarten (and beyond) is a local decision.

Return to Top


California TK Stipends

  1. How can I find out more information about the TK professional development stipends appropriated as Item 6110-196-0001 of the Budget Act of 2014, Provision 7?

    For further information regarding TK professional development stipends, please contact your Local Planning Council (LPC). (See contact information at the bottom of this Web page.)

  2. How do teachers best obtain a transcript review for the California TK Stipend (CTKS) program and verify appropriate units needed for the required 24 units? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    The CDE suggests consulting with your LPC Coordinator, an appropriate entity for transcript review, or contacting the Early Childhood Education departments External link opens in new window or tab. at an institute of higher education (IHE). Covering the costs of reviewing official transcripts for coursework prior to July 1, 2015, and obtaining official transcripts for completed coursework after July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017 would be a decision by the LPC.

  3. If I were to attend a professional development workshop instead of a college course in child development or early childhood education, how would Continuing Education Units (CEUs) be calculated? (New 22-Jan-2016)
    According to the US Department of Education, continuing education units, or CEUs, are awarded by many education and training providers to signify successful completion of non-credit programs and courses intended to improve the knowledge and skills of working adults. A typical CEU represents approximately ten contact hours of experience in a structured continuing education experience. CEUs are similar in theory to academic credits but differ in two important respects:

    • CEUs are not awarded for academic study and do not represent, or provide, academic credit; and
    • They may be awarded for a variety of experiences in different settings whose only common criterion is that they be measurable, supervised educational or training experiences with defined starting and ending points.


    The workshop provider would look for options to provide CEUs or credit-bearing units with an IHE; and some workshop providers may not offer CEUs or college credit. If CEUs are available they would be offered during the registration process.

  4. Will the units earned under the Child Development Master Teacher Permit fulfill the 24 units required for TK teachers? Is the stipend/reimbursement available for the cost of obtaining this Permit? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    A TK teacher could apply to the CTC for a Child Development Teacher Permit, and upon receipt of the Permit would have satisfied the requirements for option 3 of EC section 48000(g): "A child development teacher permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing," and option 1 of EC section 48000(g): "At least 24 units in early childhood education, or childhood development, or both."

    However, option 2 of EC section 48000(g) requirements are determined by the LEA employer: "professional experience in a classroom setting with preschool age children that is comparable to the 24 units of education described in paragraph (1)."

    Professional development stipends for teachers are administered by LPCs which determine allocations of funds based on priorities.

  5. Can LPCs issue an incentive/reward type of stipend like Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES)/AB212, which is not tied directly to an expense receipt? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    No, CTKS stipends are for actual educational and professional development expenses.

  6. Can any preschool teachers and/or paraprofessionals get reimbursed for early childhood education and/or child development courses from CTKS? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    No, TK stipend funding is a reimbursement for educational expenses for early childhood education and/or child development coursework or training for teachers in the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) only.

    The legislative intent (SB 876) is to provide funds first to TK teachers, and second to CSPP teachers. Also, CSPP teachers and other CSPP teaching staff are able to access Assembly Bill (AB) 212 funding for general education coursework and/or units towards attainment of an Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), and/or teaching credential.

  7. Can CSPP teachers (teacher assistant, associate teacher, master teacher) get reimbursed for any coursework toward an AA degree, BA degree, and/or teaching credential? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    No, CSPP teachers cannot be reimbursed for just any coursework. TK stipend funding is a reimbursement for only educational expenses for early childhood education and/or child development coursework. LPCs would likely prioritize funds for credentialed TK teachers assigned after July 1, 2015, who would request assistance to cover the coursework to meet the 2020 requirement. Anyone with an associate teacher or child development teacher permit (or a higher permit level or credential) or who functions in a teaching capacity at a CSPP qualifies for the CTKS reimbursement.

  8. What are the start and end dates for the CTKS? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    The grant award start date is July 1, 2014, and the end date is June 30, 2017. All coursework and professional development for CTKS must be completed within this time frame.

  9. Is there a limit as to how much one teacher can be reimbursed, or would that be up to the LPC to make local determinations? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Since there is no legislative limit, reimbursement is locally determined. The CDE encourages LPCs to ensure that all TK teachers have access and receive reimbursements fairly and equitably, not necessarily equally.

  10. Can reimbursements be made to agencies, or only to individuals? For example, if a program wants to register a number of staff for a conference or class can that program be reimbursed directly? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Pursuant to SB 876, Chapter 687, section 13(a)(1)(A), CTKS is for TK and CSPP teachers. Therefore, the reimbursement, administered by LPCs, will only be for individuals.

  11. In the CTKS, is there any allowance for staffing costs aside from the 15% administrative costs? (New 22-Jan-2016)
    LPCs can charge up to a 10% indirect cost rate (and possibly more if they have an “approved indirect cost rate” from the CDE that is higher than 10%), but can charge no more than 15% administrative costs, which includes the indirect cost rate. There is no allowance for staffing costs aside from the 15% administrative costs.

Return to Top


Admission Information

  1. What is the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010?

    SB 1381 (Chapter 705, Statutes of 2010) amended EC sections 46300, 48000, and 48010 to change the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade and established a TK program.

  2. What is the minimum age for admittance to kindergarten in California? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    A child shall be admitted to a kindergarten maintained by the school district at the beginning of a school year, or at a later time in the same year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or before September 1 (EC 48000[a]). This applies to kindergarten programs only.

  3. Can children who turn five years old after December 2 start TK at the beginning of the school year? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Pursuant to EC 48000(c), a child is eligible for TK if the child will have his or her fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2.

    However, pursuant to AB 104, EC 48000(c)(3)(B)(i) a school district or charter school may, at any time during a school year (including at the beginning of the school year) admit a child to a TK program who will have his or her fifth birthday after December 2 but during that same school year, with the approval of the parent or guardian, if the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the child and the parent or guardian is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance. Average Daily Attendance (ADA) can be claimed for these students once they attain the age of five (EC 48000(c)(B)(ii)).

  4. Must children attend TK or kindergarten?

    No. Since school is mandatory for six-year-old students, parents and guardians must enroll their children in school once they reach the age of six (EC Section 48200). It is a local decision, with parental input, whether the six-year-old student will be enrolled in kindergarten or first grade. For first grade enrollment, California law requires a child to be six years old on or before September 1 to be legally eligible for first grade (EC Section 48010).

  5. Can students who are age-eligible for kindergarten attend TK?

    Although this is a local decision, the CDE recommends that districts establish criteria to determine selection requirements for kindergarten-eligible children who enroll in TK. Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in TK will need a signed Kindergarten Continuance Form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year. A sample form, in English and other languages, is available.

    Kindergarten Continuance Form (English) (PDF)
    Available Translations of the Kindergarten Continuance Form

    The Kindergarten Continuance Form is used by school districts to verify that parents agree to have their child continue in kindergarten for one additional year.

  6. Should students who are four years old receive their pre-kindergarten booster vaccines?

    Yes. Under California’s kindergarten immunization requirements External link opens in new window or tab. , even four-year old children need their pre-kindergarten immunizations prior to the first day of TK where they could potentially be exposed to vaccine preventable diseases.The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy Family Physicians recommend pre-kindergarten immunizations External link opens in new window or tab. starting as young as four years of age.

  7. Are students in TK also subject to the kindergarten immunization requirements?

    Yes. They are required to have documentation of required immunizations or a valid exemption prior to admission to TK.

  8. Are students in TK required to meet kindergarten immunization requirements before the first year or second year of the program?

    Students are required to meet kindergarten immunization requirements External link opens in new window or tab. before admission to the first year of the TK program.


Funding and Reporting Information

  1. How does TK affect basic aid districts?

    The laws apply equally to all districts, whether they receive State revenue limit funding or are basic aid.

  2. How should a school report TK students for the kindergarten annual immunization assessment report?

    For each year students attend TK or kindergarten, the school will report their immunization status. On the reporting form, there will be no differentiation between TK or kindergarten students. Reporting is available at the California Department of Health, Shots for School External link opens in new window or tab..

  3. If a TK student who turns five between September 2 and December 2 starts school on the first day of the school year, can we only claim ADA from the time the student turns five years old, or can we claim ADA from the first day of the school year? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Attendance for TK students turning five between September 2 and December 2 generate ADA for the purpose of funding beginning the first day of the school year.

  4. Can we claim ADA for a student who turns five after December 2 from the first day of the school year? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    No. According to EC 48000 (c)(3)(B)(ii), attendance for students who turn five after December 2 but are admitted to TK the first day of the school year generate ADA for the purpose of funding once they reach their fifth birthday. To clarify, ADA may not be retroactively claimed from the start of the school year, and LEAs may only begin claiming attendance for these students once they turn five after December 2.

  5. How is ADA reported for TK? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    ADA for students who turn five by December 2 and attend TK should be reported with all other TK/K-3 ADA through the Principal Apportionment Data Collection. Students who turn five after December 2 in the year that they attend TK begin generating ADA for funding purposes once they turn five. Once they reach five years of age, ADA for students who turn five after December 2 should be reported with all other TK/K-3 ADA through the Principal Apportionment Data Collection Software.

  6. Are districts required to report TK information via the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    For students whose fifth birthdays will occur between September 2 and December 2 (inclusive) of the academic year or whose fifth birthday occurs prior to September 2 of the academic year:

    Yes. Students whose fifth birthday will occur between September 2 and December 2 (inclusive) of the academic year, or whose fifth birthday occurs prior to September 2 of the academic year, must be reported via CALPADS with a TK program record. Districts are required to obtain Statewide Student Identifiers (SSIDs) for all kindergarten students, including TK students. Students participating in a TK program are enrolled in CALPADS with a grade level of kindergarten. The required CALPADS Education Program Code for TK is 185, which indicates participation in a TK program. LEAs and users with CALPADS-related questions should consult relevant CALPADS documentation on the CALPADS System Documentation Web page.
    For students whose fifth birthday occurs after December 2 and before the end of the school year (Amended EC 48000(c)):

    Yes. Students whose fifth birthday occurs after December 2 and before the end of the school year must be reported via CALPADS with a TK program record; however districts may not claim ADA for these students until their fifth birthdays. Additionally, even though they should be reported in CALPADS, these students will not be counted for the purposes of the Unduplicated Pupil Percentage (UPP) for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

    Districts are required to obtain SSIDs for all kindergarten students, including TK students. Students participating in a TK program are enrolled in CALPADS with a grade level of kindergarten. The required CALPADS Education Program Code for TK is 185, which indicates participation in a TK program. LEAs and users with CALPADS-related questions should consult relevant CALPADS documentation on the CDE CALPADS System Documentation Web page.

  7. Should a student who turns five after December 2 but is enrolled in TK prior to the fifth birthday be included in the active enrollment count for the purposes of calculating the average class enrollment for the K–3 Grade Span Adjustment or the Class Size Penalty Calculation under LCFF? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes. If the TK student is enrolled in school and on the teacher’s roster, then the student should be included in the active enrollment count for the purposes of calculating the average class enrollment for the K-3 Grade Span Adjustment and Class Size Penalty Calculation under LCFF, even if not yet counted for ADA. (California Code of Regulations, Title 5 [5 CCR] 15498.1)

  8. How many years can a district claim apportionment for TK and kindergarten?

    Pursuant to EC 46300(g)(2), districts may claim apportionment for a child for not more than two years in kindergarten or two years in a combination of TK and kindergarten.

  9. Can a district claim apportionment for TK if it does not use a modified curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    In order to claim apportionment for TK, LEAs must use a modified curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate (EC 48000(d)).

  10. Is there funding for professional learning for TK teachers? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes, the 2014 Budget Act includes $10 million in funding for professional development, and $15 million for stipends for the required 24 units in early childhood education and/or child development.

  11. Can the same federal funding source (Title 1, Title III, EIA, etc.) used for kindergarten be used for TK students who start school at the beginning of the school year and who turn five years of age after December 2? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes. The same funding source and compliance requirements associated with kindergarten apply to TK, including TK students for whom the school cannot collect ADA, as long as the activity is properly identified as a need, and referenced and evaluated in the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and/or LEA plan.

  12. Do federal guidelines allow for free and reduced-price meals to be claimed for reimbursement for TK students with fifth birthdays after December 2? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Since students who attend school from the beginning of the school year are enrolled—whether they are five before or after December 2—districts may claim meals served to these students. The National School Lunch Program does not take into consideration age or ADA rules when serving students. For additional questions contact a CDE Nutrition Services Division Child and Adult Care Food Program specialist.

  13. Can LEAs charge parents a fee for those students whose fifth birthday falls after December 2, but attend TK prior to turning five? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    According to 5 CCR Section 350, a pupil enrolled in a school, defined as a California public school, shall not be required to pay any fee, deposit, or other charge not specifically authorized by law. This regulation stems from Title IX of the California Constitution, which guarantees a system of free public schools.

  14. Can a district’s Afterschool Program credit attendance in the Afterschool Program for students who start school at the beginning of the year and who turn five years of age after December 2? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes, a district’s Afterschool Program can credit attendance in the Afterschool Program for students who start school at the beginning of the year and who turn five years of age after December 2.

Return to Top


Program Information

  1. Will TK continue after 2014? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes, pursuant to California EC 48000(c)(3)(A), "In the 2014—15 school year and each school year thereafter, a child who has his or her fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2 of the school year shall be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program maintained by the school district or charter school."

  2. What is TK?

    TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.

  3. How are TK programs different than preschool or other child development programs offered by LEAs for three and four year old children?

    TK programs, as defined in statute, are not preschool classrooms or child development programs. They are part of the K-12 public school system and are the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, which uses a modified kindergarten curriculum. Pursuant to EC 48000(f), TK programs are intended to be aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations developed by the CDE. TK programs are required to be taught by a teacher who meets credentialing requirements.

    Preschool or other child development programs, offered by LEAs to prepare three and four year old children for school, are not required to be taught by persons meeting teacher credential requirements. Instead, they must meet separate child development permit requirements. LEAs should ensure that parents understand the difference between various locally implemented preschool programs intended to support kindergarten readiness and the transition to kindergarten from the TK program delineated in statute.

  4. We are being asked by a parent to enroll an age-eligible student who is not toilet trained into TK. What is a district’s/charter school’s obligation to enroll this student and what accommodations must be made? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    LEAs must offer TK and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend. How to address the needs of a non-toilet-trained age-eligible TK student is a local school district decision. If the child has an IEP, accommodations should be addressed in the IEP meeting.

  5. Do charter schools have to offer TK?

    Yes, if an LEA provides kindergarten, they must also provide TK.

  6. Is a district required to offer TK and kindergarten programs?

    LEAs must offer TK and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend.

  7. Can TK and kindergarten students be enrolled in the same classroom?

    Although the intent of the law is to provide separate and unique experiences for TK and kindergarten students, LEAs have flexibility to determine how best to meet the curricular needs of each child.

  8. What type of facility should be used for TK? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Facility requirements are the same as they are for kindergarten.

  9. Are TK students required to complete the entire two-year program?

    This is a local decision.

  10. Is a Kindergarten Continuance Form needed to continue a child from TK to kindergarten? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Children who are enrolled in TK do not need a signed Kindergarten Continuance Form to continue into kindergarten.

  11. What are the standards and/or the curriculum for TK? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    California law (EC 48000) defines TK as “the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.” While no state curriculum is mandated, pursuant to EC 48000(f), TK programs are intended to be aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations developed by the CDE.

    For guidance in creating a TK curriculum, LEAs may also review the Transitional Kindergarten Implementation Guide (PDF), the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks, and the California Academic Content Standards, including the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

  12. What are the Williams requirements for students in TK?

    While instructional materials must be provided to all pupils, the governing board of a school district determines standards-aligned instructional materials and how those materials are to be modified and age-appropriate for TK. EC 60119 states "’sufficient textbooks or instructional materials’ means that each pupil, including English learners, has a standards-aligned textbook, instructional materials, or both, to use in class and to take home. This paragraph does not require two sets of textbooks or instructional materials for each pupil. The materials may be in a digital format as long as each pupil, at a minimum, has and can access the same materials in the class and to take home, as all other pupils in the same class or course in the district and has the ability to use and access them at home."

  13. Since we have a Dual Immersion program K-5, are we required to offer this program to English learners in TK? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Per EC sections 300, 305–306, and 310–311, there is an obligation to provide parents of English learners a description of all program options, which include an alternative program to the English classroom setting for which they qualify. All identified English learners, including TK students, have the right to waive the required English classroom placement for an alternative (bilingual program placement) and must be provided information on the waiver process. The selected bilingual program model should be consistent with the model used in kindergarten.

    For more information; please see the CDE English Learners Web page.

  14. How are the needs of English learners addressed in TK? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Just as for English learners in kindergarten, LEAs have a dual obligation to English learners in TK: first, to provide a program designed to overcome language barriers, and second to provide meaningful access to the core curriculum (Castañeda v. Pickard 648 F. 2d 989, [5th Cir. 1981]).

  15. What are the state guidelines/policies on homework in kindergarten and TK? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Since EC 49091.19 states: "No provision of this chapter shall be construed as restricting teachers in the assignment of homework," homework policies are determined at the local level. For guidance, the Mathematics Framework states how or whether to use homework as an instructional and assessment tool.

  16. What are the regulations regarding transportation to and from school for our part-day TK programs? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Providing transportation is a local decision. Schools may, but are not required to, charge fees for transportation to and from school as long as:

    1. The fee does not exceed the statewide average nonsubsidized cost per pupil on a publically-owned or operated transit system;

    2. There is a waiver provision based on financial need; and

    3. Fees are not charged to pupils with disabilities whose IEPs include transportation as a related service necessary for them to receive a free appropriate public education. (EC Section 39807.5)


    The California Supreme Court has ruled that this statutorily-authorized fee does not violate the constitutional free school guarantee because home-to-school transportation is neither an educational activity nor an essential part of school activity. Arcadia School District v. State Department of Education, 2 Cal. 4th 251, 263-264 (1992).

Return to Top


Instructional Minutes Information

  1. I have been told that TK students have to have the same minutes of instruction as kindergarten students. My son's school has an extended-day schedule. Since kindergarten and TK are not mandatory, if I pick up my child at part-day, is that all right?

    Since TK and kindergarten are currently not mandated, it is a local decision whether you are permitted to pick up your child at part-day. Assuming the LEA does not allow you to pick up your child part way through the extended-day schedule, your child's absence might be recorded as an unexcused absence and might be referred to the school attendance review board (SARB). A SARB meeting is recommended for any minor pupil, including a five year old, who is “irregular in attendance at school” pursuant to EC Section 48263.

    SARB takes referrals in three situations:

    • A minor pupil is a habitual truant (which requires the child to be between the ages of 6 and 18).
    • A minor pupil is irregular in attendance at school.
    • A minor pupil is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school.


    Therefore, SARB may discuss the problem of irregular attendance, discuss the importance of regular school attendance, and link the parent to any needed community resources.

  2. How many minutes does a TK program have to offer? (Updated 22-Jan-2016)

    Pursuant to EC 37202, TK programs operated by a district must be of equal length to any kindergarten programs operated by the same school site and/or district, unless there is an approved State Board of Education waiver on file. By statute, the maximum school day in kindergarten is 4 hours (“part day”)(EC 46110). However, EC 8973 allows schools that have adopted an early primary program (extended-day kindergarten or “full day”) to exceed 4 hours. Furthermore, EC 48000 states that a TK shall not be construed as a new program or higher level service. In general, the number of required instructional minutes for TK is 36,000 minutes per year. The minimum length of instructional time that must be offered to constitute a school day is 180 minutes (EC 46117 and 46201).

  3. Must a student admitted to TK at the start of the school year whose fifth birthday occurs after December 2 of that same school year be scheduled for and offered the required instructional minutes in EC for TK/kindergarten? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    Yes. If the student is enrolled in a TK classroom (even if not yet counted for ADA), the student should be scheduled for a minimum of 180 minutes per school day and offered the same number of annual instructional minutes offered other TK/kindergarten students enrolled at the same school site. For more information on claiming ADA, refer to the Funding and Reporting section.

  4. When calculating instructional minutes for the TK school day does recess count? Does any part of lunch count if teachers have to escort students to the cafeteria and get them settled? (New 22-Jan-2016)

    At the local school district's discretion, instructional minutes may be inclusive of recess pursuant to EC 46115 and 46117. “Noon intermissions” (otherwise known as lunch time) however may not be counted as instructional minutes pursuant to EC 46115.

Return to Top


Related Resources

Return to Top

Questions: Kathleen Halvorson | KHalvorson@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-4629 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Recently Posted in Grade Spans
  • EAP Junior Cover Letter (DOC) (added 01-Jun-2016)
    Early Assessment Program Guide to College Readiness Resources Cover Letter from the CSU California State University Office Of The Chancellor.