What is Universal PreKindergarten?

California’s mixed-delivery system intends to offer a variety of early learning and care settings to allow parents and guardians an authentic choice to meet the needs of their families. Universal PreKindergarten, or UPK, provides a solid early start to education through equitable access to educational programs the year before Kindergarten. 

The San Mateo County Office of Education is working with school districts, California State Preschool Programs, Head Start, private preschools, and family childcare providers to implement a mixed-delivery system to ensure parent choice in selecting quality early learning programs.

Universal PreKindergarten Programs 

UPK includes various program options families may be familiar with, giving more choices for high-quality PreK programs that meet a family’s needs. This also includes connecting before and after school and other childcare programs to create wraparound or full-day options for working families.

A visual representation of how Universal Prekindergarten is made up of multiple programs, including Head Start, California State Preschool Programs, Transitional Kindergarten, Before and afterschool programs, and private programsUPK can be accessed through many programs in San Mateo County, including:

  • Transitional Kindergarten (TK), provided by local school districts
  • California State Preschool Program (CSPP), operated by school districts and community-based organizations
  • Federal Head Start Programs
  • Subsidized programs that provide a preschool learning experience and are operated by community-based organizations, including family childcare
  • Private preschools
  • Park and Recreation Preschool Programs 
  • Family Child Care 

Families with four-year-old children can enroll in any program for which their child is eligible.

Donna Yuriar

Coordinator, P-3 and Early Education

Email: dyuriar@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5351