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Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs by age 5, which is why participation in quality early learning programs become an important foundation for a child’s education.

Early learning programs, such as preschool, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten, better prepare children for school entry. Early learning programs teach children how to interact with classmates, regulate emotions, and embrace learning.

Regular attendance and engagement build a strong foundation for early learners. When children attend early learning programs regularly, they have a greater chance of mastering skills,  establish early habits that contribute to good school attendance, adaptability, and building an attention span.

There are many safe, inclusive, and high-quality programs within our county that are low-cost and/or free. Early learning programs are open to children regardless of their immigration status.

Early learning programs can also improve the health of your child through screenings for vision, hearing, oral and overall health. These screenings can help identify medical needs and supports early in a child’s life. Various community health resources can help complete your child’s health screenings for school enrollment.

Infant and toddler programs are available for children from birth to 23 months, while preschool is for those 2-5 years of age. Children who turn five between September and February during the 2022-23 school year can be enrolled in transitional kindergarten. Children who turn five before September are eligible for kindergarten.

If you need assistance navigating the enrollment process or have questions about how to get started, please visit

The Santa Clara County Childcare Resource and Referral Program can assist parents with finding child care. The program connects families with licensed childcare providers, provides information about support for eligible families with paying for childcare, and provides information about early learning programs. Visit the county’s childcare portal at or call 669-212-5437.

The Inclusion Collaborative Warm Line provides free individualized support in

multiple languages to parents, teachers, and community members working with

children with disabilities and other needs. For more information, contact: 408-453-6651,, or visit

Enrolling your child in early education is the first step to building a foundation for a successful, lifelong educational journey.