In July 2003, First 5 California invested $100 million in its voluntary Power of Preschool Program, leading efforts to help make sure that all children in California have equal access to quality preschool programs. The program's goal is to increase the number of high-quality preschool spaces for children in California, while at the same time providing demonstration projects in different parts of the state to help guide efforts to create a statewide preschool system.
First 5 Power of Preschool (PoP) is a high-quality, free, voluntary, part-day preschool program for all 4-year-olds (or 3- and 4-year-olds). The program assists children in becoming personally, socially, and physically competent, effective learners, and ready to transition into kindergarten. The long-term goal is to implement California's Master Plan for Education Preschool Recommendations (2002). The foundation for PoP was established by the First 5 School Readiness Program, by California's Master Plan for Education (2002) and by the Universal Preschool Task Force Report (1998).
The First 5 California Children and Families Commission approved the Power of Preschool (PoP) Demonstration Projects funding in July 2003 and the criteria for selection and timeline for participation in January 2005. The First 5 PoP
Demonstration Projects provide a common framework
for financial and policy commitments and for quality
standards with the goal of becoming part of
California's public education system. Of the $100
million approved, $90 million will be used to contribute to County Commission PoP Demonstration Projects over five years for funding new and improved preschool spaces in school district(s), city, or countywide preschool 'systems' that include high quality providers in a variety of settings.
Currently nine counties participate as PoP
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