Sonoma County Office of Education

Early Childhood Education

Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional KindergartenThe Kindergarten Readiness Act was designed to help ensure that California children are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Under this act, children who have their fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2 can be admitted to the Transitional Kindergarten program at their school or district.

TK Resources
Check out the TK Resources link referenced on the left side of this page. You will find county and state documents that can be used in support of a TK program. Links to state and local organizations involved in the important work of educating young children are also highlighted.

Note for Families in Search of TK Classes:
All districts are required to offer a TK option for families, though not every school in the district is required to have its own TK class. To learn more about what your child's school district offers, please contact the district directly. You can look up appropriate contact information in the SCOE directory. If you are not sure what district your child is in, you can use this district lookup to find out.

Expanded Transitional Kindergarten

The Kindergarten Readiness Act was recently amended to provide school districts with another option to offer additional kindergarten readiness opportunities for their students. Districts can choose to expand their TK programs to enroll all four-year-olds at the start of the school year, even if they turn five after the December 2nd cut-off date.

The brief, Getting Students Kindergarten Ready: Expanded Transitional Kindergarten , released by Early Edge California, outlines the different approaches that various school districts throughout California are using to implement Expanded TK. These districts are using a combination of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars and Average Daily Attendance (ADA) state funding.

District and site level administrators will find tools and strategies regarding funding, operations, supporting teachers, and family engagement, among other topics at: Supporting Administrators with TK Implementation.

Transitional Kindergarten Teachers Requirements

Legislation was recently passed that added additional requirements for TK teachers, so that they are better prepared to align TK curriculum to the California Preschool Learning Foundations. Specifically, credentialed teachers who are first assigned to a TK classroom after July 1, 2015 must have one of the following by August 2020:

  • At least 24 units in early childhood education, childhood development, or both.
  • Professional experience in a classroom setting with preschool-age children that is comparable to the 24 units of education described above.
  • A child development teacher permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Teachers can use this Verification of Educator Experience Form to document their training and work experience. Note that any credentialed teacher who is or was assigned to teach TK (or a combination class of kindergarten and TK) before July 1, 2015 is “grandfathered in” to teach TK without having to meet additional requirements.

More information about the requirements can be found on the CDE website.

California Transitional Kindergarten Stipend Program (CTKS)

The Child Care Planning Council is administering the Sonoma County’s CTKS Program, which provides reimbursement to TK teachers for the cost of Early Childhood Education and Child Development courses and trainings. Access the information and application packet here.

California TK Stipend Webinar
On May 27, 2015, Early Edge California hosted a webinar for anyone involved in planning and implementing the CTKS program or training teachers, or anyone interested in learning more about the stipend program opportunity. Watch the webinar.

TK Network

Please plan to join fellow transitional kindergarten teachers, early childhood education professionals, curriculum specialists and administrators at the TK Network meetings. The goal of the network is to establish and foster connections, continue to advance the quality of local TK programs and to build a network of educators who believe in developing the whole child.

2016-17 Network Sessions
meeting dates:
September 6, 2016
November 1, 2016
January 10, 2017
March 14, 2017
May 9, 2017

Sign up here:

Title Date Time
TK Network 2016-17 09/06/2016 4:00pm-7:00pm


Charters with Kindergartens must offer TK
CDE consultant Mary Autry has affirmed that charter schools are obligated to offer transitional kindergarten. “The direction of the department is that transitional kindergarten is a requirement for charter schools that offer kindergarten,” she said. “For charter schools that don’t offer kindergarten already, we recommend they contact their legal counsel or charter authorizer. If their authorizer is the state board of education, CDE is in the process of developing guidance for them.”

Enrolling Kindergarten-Age Children in TK
Mary Autry from CDE advises that, although Transitional Kindergarten is designed for children with birthdays between September 2 and December 2, it is a local decision whether or not to enroll kindergarten-age children in the program. She suggests that local board policies be developed addressing this issue.

More information about the requirements can be found on the CDE website.

Kindergarten Continuance Form: Parent Agreement
Informational Document (pdf) | Form (pdf)
The Kindergarten Continuance Form is used for children whose birthdates do not meet the required criteria for TK and who attend two years of kindergarten.

TK Instructional Hours
SCOE compiled this TK Length of Day (pdf) summary to assist in clarifying the required instructional hours for Transitional Kindergarten programs.


  • Jill McIntyre, Administrative Technician II
    (707) 524-2816,
  • Brulene Zanutto, Coordinator, Early Literacy / School Readiness