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Understanding Transitional Kindergarten

Every year, parents are faced with the decision of when to send their child to school, and the rise of transitional kindergarten has made it easier. Many parents want to know what are the benefits of enrolling their child in the transitional kindergarten program, and what they offer to their young one. San Rafael City Schools believes there is much to be gained from enrolling your child in transitional kindergarten if they are eligible! 

Understanding Transitional Kindergarten

What is transitional kindergarten?

In simple terms, transitional kindergarten is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for children who don’t make the age requirement for kindergarten. You can learn more about the age requirements at

In more detail, transitional kindergarten prepares children within a safe classroom environment that teaches fundamental learning skills they need to be comfortable in a classroom environment with other students. Through our TK program, our schools strive to boost creativity, problem solving, and curiosity. We include play-based sessions that are designed to nurture freedom and skill development.

The reading and math curriculum in transitional kindergarten programs encourage children to get ready for the next level of those subjects. They will also develop cognitive, social and self-regulation skills that can be useful in all parts of life.

It might sound similar to preschool, but they are different. For example, a teacher in California must meet certain requirements before they receive the credentials to teach kindergarten. The transitional kindergarten program is also created from a kindergarten curriculum with slight alterations to be suitable to a younger class, and require a credentialed teacher.

A rise of transitional kindergarten for the children

About 10 percent of parents in the US decide to keep their child out of kindergarten for one year. In the state of California alone, 100,000 children have no choice but to sit out an extra year of school. To help this situation, California passed a law in 2010 to offer transitional kindergarten programs throughout the state. The law changed age limits for four-year-olds so that they could enroll in kindergarten. 

This allowed students who met the new age limits to enroll in transitional kindergarten. Now, these eligibility dates are expanding every year until all four-year-olds are eligible. Currently, families can register for transitional kindergarten for the 2022-23 school year. 

Making the choice to enroll

What the rise of transitional kindergarten shows us is that a program can combine academic learning with emotional achievement. We feel that many children will benefit greatly in school, and life, if they participate in Transitional Kindergarten. The future of your child in our schools can be started early. Help give them the tools to succeed. Learn more about enrolling at