Policy brief

Preschool for California's Children

Promising Benefits, Unequal Access
Margaret Bridges
University of California, Berkeley
Bruce Fuller
University of California, Berkeley
Russell W. Rumberger
University of California, Santa Barbara
Loan Tran


Parents and policymakers are turning to preschools to better advance the school readiness and broader development of young children. This brief reports on which California children are more likely to gain access to preschool centers—broadly termed center-based programs—and whether attendance yields gains in early learning and social skills. The brief also details sizeable gaps in the development of different groups of children as they enter kindergarten. These findings stem from a comprehensive new study of 2,314 children, representative of all California children entering kindergarten.

Suggested citationBridges, M., Fuller, B., Rumberger, R. W., & Tran, L. (2004, September). Preschool for California's children: Promising benefits, unequal access [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/preschool-californias-children