What about preschool and transitional kindergarten?

In 2018, Stanford researchers emphasized the importance of expanding low-income families’ access to subsidized childcare and preschool, noting that while the state’s students are learning at rates similar to their peers nationally, they’re starting at a disadvantage. “California’s lag in academic achievement,” the report said, “arises before children even enter the schoolhouse door.” 

California became a pioneer in universal Transitional Kindergarten, the stepping stone between preschool and kindergarten, in 2021. State lawmakers agreed to spend $2.7 billion to establish the new grade level for all of California’s 4-year-olds by the 2025-26 school year.