Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional kindergarten (TK) is a grade offered statewide to children born in the fall, providing them with a strong foundation for success in school and in life.


TK was created by the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 (Senate Bill 1381), which required children starting kindergarten to turn 5 by September 1. The law had previously required children starting kindergarten to turn 5 by Dec. 2.


The goal of this shift was to ensure all children start kindergarten developmentally, socially, and academically ready.


To ensure the younger children with fall birthdays were not displaced and had an education option that is more developmentally appropriate, the Legislature established TK. School districts across California now offer TK.

After TK, children enter a year of kindergarten. 


Children who attended TK made significant gains in early literacy skills, math skills, and executive functioning compared to their peers who did not attend TK – amounting to as much as a five-month advantage in kindergarten – according to a recent report by the American Institutes for Research.