5148.3 BP - Preschool/Early Childhood Education

Board Policy No. 5148.3
Approved: April 6, 2017


The Governing Board recognizes that high-quality preschool experiences help children ages 3-4 years to develop knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes necessary for a successful transition into the elementary education program. Such programs should provide developmentally appropriate activities in a safe, adequately supervised, and cognitively rich environment.

Collaboration with Community Programs

The Superintendent or designee shall collaborate with other agencies, organizations, the county office of education, and/or private preschool providers to assess the availability of preschool programs in the community and the extent to which the community's preschool needs are being met. The Board encourages the development of a community-wide plan to increase children's access to high-quality preschool programs.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide information about preschool options in the community to parents/guardians upon request.

District Preschool Programs

The District may contract with the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide preschool services in facilities at or near District schools pursuant to Education Code 8235-8239. The CSPP consolidates a number of state programs that serve children ages 3-4, including state preschool programs (Education Code 8235-8237), family literacy programs (Education Code 8238-8238.4), and general child care and development programs to the extent that they serve children ages 3-4 (Education Code 8240-8244). Children ages 3-4 years from low-income or otherwise disadvantaged families may be eligible for subsidized services. See the accompanying administrative regulation for major program requirements for CSPP.

Preschool programs also may receive funding through the state migrant child care and development program (Education Code 8230-8233), state program for severely disabled children (Education Code 8250-8252), federal Head Start program (42 USC 9831-9852), Title I preschool program (20 USC 6311-6322), or other funding sources available to the district.

The Board shall approve for the district's preschool program a written philosophical statement, goals, and objectives that reflect the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the families to be served and address the program components specified in 5 CCR 18272-18281 and the accompanying administrative regulation.

The Board shall set priorities for establishing or expanding services as resources become available.  In so doing, the Board shall give consideration to the benefits of providing early education programs for at-risk children and/or children residing in the attendance areas of the lowest performing District schools.

On a case-by-case basis, the Board shall determine whether the District shall directly administer a preschool program or contract with a public or private provider to offer such a program.

Facilities for preschool classrooms shall be addressed in the District's facilities master plan, including an assessment as to whether adequate and appropriate space exists on school sites. As necessary, the Superintendent or designee shall provide information to the Board regarding facilities financing options for preschool classrooms and/or facilities available through partnering organizations.

Because parents/guardians are essential partners in supporting the development of their children, the Superintendent or designee shall involve them in program planning.

The Superintendent or designee shall coordinate planning efforts for the district’s preschool program, transitional kindergarten program, and elementary education program to provide a developmental continuum that builds upon children’s growing skills and knowledge. 

The District’s program shall be aligned with Preschool Learning Foundations and Curriculum Frameworks developed by the CDE which identify the knowledge, skills, and competencies that children typically attain as they complete their first or second year of preschool. The program shall be designed to facilitate children’s development in essential skills related to language and literacy, mathematics, physical development, health, visual and performing arts, science, history-social science, English language development, and social-emotional development.

The District's preschool program shall provide appropriate services to support the needs of English learners and children with disabilities.

The district shall encourage volunteerism in the program and shall communicate frequently with parents/guardians of enrolled children regarding their child’s progress.

To maximize the ability of children to succeed in the preschool program, program staff shall support children's health through proper nutrition and physical activity and shall provide or make referrals to available health and social services as needed.

Professional development resources pertaining to preschool/early childhood education are available through the CDE, California Preschool Instructional Network and others. 

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals in district preschool programs possess the appropriate permit(s) issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, meet any additional qualifications established by the Board, and participate in professional development opportunities designed to continually enhance their knowledge and skills.

Preschool admissions policies and procedures shall be in writing and available to the public. Such policies and procedures shall include criteria designating those children whose needs can be met by the program and services, the ages of children who will be accepted, program activities, any supplementary services provided, any field trip provisions, any transportation arrangements, food service provisions, and a health examination requirement. (CCR 18105; 22 CCR 101218) 

Eligibility is generally limited to children who reside within district boundaries. However, Education Code 8322 and 5 CCR 18107 authorize the Board to enter into an agreement with the boards of other districts to serve children who reside within those districts. The district may revise the following paragraph to reflect any such agreement approved by the Board.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that subsidized preschool is provided to eligible families to the extent that state and/or federal funding is available and shall establish enrollment priorities in accordance with Education Code 8263 and 5 CCR 18106.

The Superintendent or designee shall recommend strategies to link the district's preschool program with other available child care and development programs in the district or community in order to assist families whose child care needs extend beyond the length of time that the district's part-day preschool program is offered.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop and implement an annual plan of evaluation which conforms to state requirements.  (5 CCR 18279)

The Superintendent or designee shall regularly report to the Board regarding enrollments in district preschool programs and the effectiveness of the programs in preparing preschoolers for transition into the elementary education program.

Legal Reference:
8200-8499.10  Child Care and Development Services Act, especially:
8200-8209  General provisions for child care and development services
8230-8233  Migrant child care and development program
8235-8239  California State Preschool Program
8240-8244  General child care and development programs
8250-8252  Programs for children with special needs
8263  Eligibility and priorities for subsidized child development services
8263.3 Disenrollment of families due to reduced funding levels
8300-8303  Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee
8360-8370  Personnel qualifications
8400-8409  Contracts
8493-8498  Facilities
8499.3-8499.7  Local child care and development planning councils
54740-54749  Cal-SAFE program for pregnant/parenting students and their children
1596.70-1596.895  California Child Day Care Act
1596.90-1597.21  Day care centers
120325-120380  Immunization requirements
18000-18434  Child care and development program
80105-80125  Permits authorizing service in child development programs
6311-6322  Title I, relative to preschool
6319  Qualifications for teachers and paraprofessionals
6371-6376  Early Reading First
6381-6381k  Even Start family literacy programs
6391-6399  Education of migratory children
9831-9852  Head Start programs
9858-9858q  Child Care and Development Block Grant
101151-101239.2  General requirements, licensed child care centers, including:
01151-101163  Licensing and application procedures
101212-101231  Continuing requirements
101237-101239.2  Facilities and equipment
1301-1310  Head Start


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