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First Class: A Guide for Early Primary Education


Important Notice: Programs Moved to CDSS

While the California Department of Education continues to operate the California State Preschool Program, the Early Childhood Development Act of 2020 (Senate Bill (SV) 98, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) authorized the transfer of many childcare programs from the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) effective July 1, 2021. The content on this page may include programs that have moved to CDSS. For additional assistance you can either visit the CDSS Child Care Transition web page External link opens in new window or tab. or call 1-833-559-2420 for more information.

First Class: A Guide for Early Primary Education (PDF; 14MB) (California Department of Education 1999) is intended to help those responsible for the education of children from four to seven years old. First Class is a research-based, classroom resource that highlights:

  • Practical and relevant information about classroom materials including charts, illustrations, and helpful resources

  • An appendix of recent research studies on a variety of topics including the current thinking on the use of phonics, ways to help children write, assessment materials, and resources for English language learners

  • Twelve guiding principles for quality early primary education programs

  • Educational practices that work in the classroom

  • Solutions to problems that educators face every day, such as how to design the classroom environment, plan for classroom instruction and management, plan a daily schedule, discipline in a positive and responsible manner, teach subject matter to young children, and plan an integrated early primary program.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | TK3Questions@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 5, 2021