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Attending quality early learning programs for children ages birth to five creates positive short and long- term impacts for success in school and life. Santa Clara County’s schools are committed to providing high-quality preschool, transitional kindergarten (TK), and kindergarten programs.

What is the difference between preschool, TK and K?

  • TK-12 public education programs are open to all regardless of immigration status. TK and kindergarten are only operated through schools and are free.
  • Preschool programs that are operated through schools may range from private pay to no-cost options. Contact your local school district to learn if they have preschool programs. If you are looking for preschool programs outside of schools, please contact Santa Clara County's Childcare Resource and Referral program at 669-212-5437 to learn about your options. Families may qualify for low-cost preschool if they meet certain eligibility. Eligibility may vary depending on the program you select. The R&R team can provide you with information to make the best decision for you and your child. 
  • Understand the programmatic differences between preschool, TK and K 

Enroll in Preschool, TK and K through schools

TK Expansion in California

The state of California recently passed legislation that will soon allow all 4 year olds to be eligible for free TK through schools. The image below shows the birthdays that will be eligible to enroll in TK by academic year. 

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