Welcome to Preschool


Early Childhood Intended Learning Outcomes

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:

  • Display a sense of curiosity.
  • Practice personal responsibility for learning.
  • Demonstrate persistence in completing tasks.
  • Apply prior knowledge and processes to construct new knowledge.
  • Voluntarily use a variety of resources to investigate topics of interest.

2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility:

  • Respect similarities and differences in others.
  • Treat others with kindness and fairness.
  • Follow rules.
  • Include others in learning and play activities.
  • Function positively as a member of a family, learning group, school, and community.
  • Initiate and respond to social interactions with peers and adults.

3. Demonstrate responsible emotional behaviors:

  • Recognize own values, talents, and skills.
  • Express self in positive ways.
  • Demonstrate behavior appropriate to the situation.
  • Express feelings appropriately.
  • Meet and respect needs of self and others.

4. Develop physical skills and personal hygiene:

  • Learn proper care of the body for health and fitness.
  • Develop knowledge that enhances participation in physical activities and healthy food choices.
  • Display persistence in learning motor skills and developing fitness.
  • Use physical activity for self-expression.

5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills:

  • Develop phonological and phonemic awareness.
  • Develop expressive and receptive vocabulary.
  • Develop reasoning and sequencing skills.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  • Observe, sort, and classify objects.
  • Make connections from content areas to application in real life.

Activity Calendar

Utah Education Network (UEN)

Utah Core Standards

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.

High Quality School Readiness (HQSR) Grant

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).

Grant Information


December 1, 2017

High Quality School Readiness Expansion (HQSR-E) Grant

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:

  • Is in a family that is eligible for assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or is eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Will be four years of age on or before September 2 of the school year in which the individual intends to enroll in a school readiness program; and
  • Has not enrolled in kindergarten, as reported by the individual’s parent or legal guardian.

Grant Information

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.


December 1, 2017

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART)

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.

Training and Support

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.

Program Costs

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.

Program Evaluation Fiscal Year Reports (Summary)

2016 | 2015 | 2014

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Young, UPSTART Coordinator.

Kindergarten Readiness


Kindergarten Here We Come! | Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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):


Agencies and Programs

Child Care Licensing
Utah Department of Health

Special Education Services
Utah State Board of Education (USBE)

The Family Center

Utah Head Start Association (UHSA)

Utah PTA

Workforce Services Child Care

Class and Home

Preschool Pioneer | Spanish

Parents and Teachers

Available Preschool Programs.

Title I
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.

Special Education
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.

Home Visit
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.

High School
As part of their child care class, high school students, supervised by their teacher, provide a tuition preschool program within the high school building.

Charter School
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.

Professional Organizations

Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL)

National Institute For Early Education Research (NIEER)

Preschool Team


Esther Navarrette
Office Assistant
High Quality School Readiness (HQSR) Grant
Phone: (801) 538-7891 | E-mail

Jessica Smith
Phoe: (801) 538-7586 | E-mail

Melissa Strautins
Office Assistant
High Quality School Readiness Expansion (HQSR-E) Grant
Phone: (801) 538-7976 | E-mail