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    Early Childhood Education in Texas


    The agency supports high-quality early learning that promotes kindergarten school readiness for Texas children. The State of Texas is invested in the identification and dissemination of well researched early childhood education instructional strategies. Supported through key partnerships with the Regional Education Service Centers, the Texas Early Learning Council, numerous licensed child care programs, including Head Start, Texas continues to raise the bar for quality early learning. This includes laying the foundation for all investments through the adoption of the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (PKG), which emphasize research-based instructional strategies that are developmentally appropriate. Intended to support all students, these guidelines also work to inform teachers in addressing the specific needs of English language learners and students with disabilities.

    Latest Developments  

     Tuition-supported and district-financed prekindergarten (TEC, §29.1531) (June 2014)
     Compliance with Kindergarten Reading Assessment Data Submission (TEC §28.006) (May 2014)
    Texas Early Learning Council (October 2013)
    • Texas' Early Learning Pathways is an alignment document of the Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines.
    • Professional Mentoring and Coaching Toolkit. Partners in Action; A Mentoring Toolkit for Early Childhood Providers. This toolkit is intended to help early childhood programs create and set up their own "in-house" mentoring projects. Addtitional Tools and Resources.   

    Texas Early Learning Council (August 2013)

    • Early Childhood Public Awareness Campaign at
    • The Council is excited to announce the beginning of our statewide public awareness campaign on the importance of early childhood and responsive caregiving! Television, radio, and internet ads will run at different locations throughout the state, encouraging adults to learn more about early childhood and ways they can support healthy development for the children in their lives.

    Texas Early Learning Council (July 2013)

    • Texas Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Study
    • The Texas Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Study gathered accurate information on the wages, benefits, and retention of the child care workforce in Texas. The Council partnered with the Child and Family Research Institute at the University of Texas at Austin to complete the compensation study. The study collected data through paper surveys and phone surveys with home-based child care providers, center directors, and center providers. The report details the compensation, benefits, and retention of each of these groups, presented through statewide summaries and in specific local areas. As a comparison, the report also features information about the wages of public school pre-k teachers and Head Start teachers.

    Texas Head Start Collaboration Office (THSCO) (April 2013)

    • Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool
    • The Texas Early Childhood Program Standards Comparison Tool is a searchable database of early childhood program standards, categorized by topic. Federal and state program standards, as well as other national and state program accreditations, are included in the tool. The goal of the tool is to provide information about various program standards and accreditations to support increased collaboration among early childhood programs. 

    Texas Early Learning Council (March 2013)

    Texas Early Learning Council (January 2013)

    • The new Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators are available now! The Core Competencies are statements about the knowledge and skills that early childhood professionals should be able to demonstrate to be successful in their careers. The Core Competencies are a critical piece of the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System. 
    • Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators   

    Prekindergarten Prepares

    Start Early. Finish Strong. PicturePrekindergarten Prepares is a new website with resources for parents and educators. The parent site includes: benefits, eligibility, a healthy child and find a school.  The educator site includes: a toolkit to provide outreach materials for schools and communities, best practices, advice, and the prekindergarten guidelines. 

    Top 10 Prekindergarten Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What criteria must a child meet to be eligible for a public prekindergarten program?    
    2. Why isn’t my child eligible for prekindergarten? My child doesn’t meet the criteria and I can’t afford private prekindergarten. Why aren’t all children eligible for prekindergarten? 
    3. My child won’t be 5-years-old until right after September 1, but is very smart and mature. Can they go to kindergarten instead of prekindergarten so they don’t have to wait another year? 
    4. What is the class size and student: teacher ratio for prekindergarten?
    5. Can I use my SNAP or TANF card to document eligibility?
    6. How many and which districts offer a full-day prekindergarten program?
    7. Can school districts serve ineligible children in prekindergarten?
    8. What are the requirements for starting a prekindergarten program and/or child care facility that's not associated with a school district or open-enrollment charter school?
    9. Are school districts required to serve three year old students who are eligible?
    10. Can school districts keep “waiting lists” of eligible children who are not being served?

    Early Childhood Education Frequently Asked Questions by Category (Full Version, PDF, 318.79)

    1. Eligibility and Attendance
    2. Full/Half Day Programs
    3. School Readiness Integration (SRI) Partnerships
    4. Tuition
    5. Curriculum and Instructional Materials
    6. Five Year Olds and Three Year Olds
    7. Waiting Lists and Waivers
    8. Additional FAQs on Early Childhood Education

    Early Childhood Education and Prekindergarten Contacts: 

    Department of Federal and State Education Policy: 512-936-6060

    Program Contacts:

    Howard Morrison,

    Page last modified on 6/24/2014 10:00:57 AM.