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New data shows early educators equipped to teach TK


California is moving quickly to transform transitional kindergarten (TK) into a universal preschool program to be available to all four-year-olds in the state by 2025 (California Legislative Information, 2021b). This will create the need for as many as 8,000 to 11,000 additional lead TK teachers. In child care centers and family child care homes across the state, a diverse cadre of early educators are experienced in teaching young children and well prepared to meet this demand. Yet this expansion of TK — currently planned to operate exclusively in public school settings — risks bypassing these trained professionals. Without careful attention to how TK is implemented, this model stands to bring greater instability to the early care and education (ECE) system and fuel existing racial pay gaps among the ECE workforce, ultimately undermining the state’s vision for an equitable system for children, families, and educators. This snapshot highlights original key findings from a recent workforce survey of center-based and TK teachers and includes analysis of secondary data that are immediately relevant to the expansion of transitional kindergarten. Additional findings from the workforce study, including results from family child care (FCC) providers and center administrators, are forthcoming.  (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Fact Sheets & Briefs
United States

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