The main focus in early childhood is for children to begin to value learning, gain knowledge, and understand their world.
The Intended Learning Outcomes described below reflect the belief that in early childhood, education should address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of children. It is important to create a learning environment that fosters development of many aspects of a child. By nurturing development in these interrelated human domains, children will discover varied and exciting talents and dreams. They will be socially and civically competent and able to express themselves effectively.
The outcomes identified below are to provide a direction for general learning experiences, management, culture, environment, and inclusion. These outcomes are interwoven in Standards, which offer specific and measurable indicators. Beginning in early childhood, children should:
1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude:
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility:
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional behaviors:
4. Develop physical skills and personal hygiene:
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills:
Early Childhood Core Standards were created by a committee of more than 30 childhood education and development experts drawn from districts, universities, private advocacy organizations, and state entities. The Standards provide support and information for preschool teachers, caregivers, and parents about the developmental continuum of children from preschool to Kindergarten.
Utah's Early Childhood Core Standards with Teaching Strategies and Activities | Spanish
If you need this information in an accessible format, please contact the department directly.
The High Quality School Readiness (HQSR) Initiative was passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2014. The purposes of the Initiative are to increase school readiness, improve academic performance, and reduce remediation costs associated with poor academic outcomes. The HQSR grant program provides resources to existing early education programs administered by Local Education Agencies (LEAS), private child care providers, and home-based educational technology programs. The grants are available to programs serving economically disadvantaged (free or reduced lunch) three- and four-year-old students who are not receiving special education services. It is highly encouraged that programs serve students with disabilities in an inclusive environment (i.e., with both typically developing students and students with disabilities being educated together in the same room).
House Bill 96: Utah School Readiness Initiative
Utah State Legislature
Utah Education Network (UEN)
The High Quality School Readiness Expansion (HQSR-E) grant was passed by the Utah State Legislature in 2016. The purposes of the initiative are to expand access to high quality school readiness programs for eligible students to increase school readiness, improve academic performance, and reduce remediation costs associated with poor academic outcomes. The HQSR-E grant program provides funds to expand seats for eligible students to public and private providers with existing early education programs deemed high quality.
Eligibility requirements for a student are:
Senate Bill 101: High Quality School Readiness Program Expansion
Utah State Legislation
The 2016 grant application is available for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that have a high quality school readiness program already established and would like to expand opportunities.
Utah Education Network (UEN)
UPSTART (Utah State Legislature Title 53F-4-402), is an in-home, technology-delivered kindergarten readiness program that is designed to give Utah four-year-old's an individualized reading, mathematics, and science curriculum with a focus on reading. Children participate in the program the year before they attend kindergarten. The UPSTART Program is administered by the Waterford Institute.
Parents and caregivers in both English and Spanish, and qualifying families without them may receive a Chromebook and Internet during the time they are in the program.
During 2015-2016 the UPSTART Program will serve 6,622 children. While all Utah children are eligible to participate in UPSTART, legislation extending the UPSTART Program gave participation priority to low-income families and families that are not native English speakers.
UPSTART legislation also charged the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) with working with the Waterford Institute to establish a price for the program so that families that cannot be served by state funding can pay to participate in the program. For 2015-2016, the price is $725. Families must provide their own computers and Internet access.
For more information, please contact the Waterford Institute at (800) 669-4533.
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Young, UPSTART Coordinator.
How do I go about enrolling my child in preschool?
Contact your local school district for information regarding public preschool services.
Who do I contact to enroll my child in Head Start?
To enroll your child in Head Start, visit the Utah Head Start Association (UHSA) website or call (801) 903-2960.
What are the requirements for setting up my own preschool?
The State Board of Education (USBE) does not oversee private preschools. You will need to obtain a business license through your city government office. If your preschool will also offer child care and you are interested in obtaining a license, you will go through the same licensing procedure as child care centers:
You may also have your preschool accredited nationally by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC):
Child Care Licensing
Utah Department of Health
Special Education Services
Utah State Board of Education (USBE)
Available Preschool Programs.
Title I funds are given to identified low income schools throughout the state. Some of those schools use portions of their funds to provide preschool services to low income students. Title I preschools may be operated in conjunction with Special Education or tuition paying students.
Federal Funds are allocated to schools in order to serve children with special education needs. If you suspect your child has a delay or disability, contact your local school district. They will assess your child to determine if they are eligible for special education services. If your child is eligible, placement options will be discussed by the IEP team and might include district inclusive classrooms, Head Start, Title I, and classrooms for special education students only.
Some rural districts have teachers that visit children at home throughout the school year prior to kindergarten entrance. These teachers present lessons and leave materials and activities for parents to do between teacher visits.
As part of their child care class, high school students, supervised by their teacher, provide a tuition preschool program within the high school building.
Some charter schools have tuition preschools within their buildings. Attending the preschool does not ensure acceptance to the charter school kindergarten program.
Some school districts have an entire building designated as a preschool, offering a variety of preschool programs open to the entire community. Depending on the child’s needs, these services may be free of cost or tuition based.