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Transition Kindergarten


Transition Kindergarten in UPSD

Beginning fall of 2024, the University Place School District is planning to offer a Transition Kindergarten program for a limited number of qualifying children living in UPSD school boundaries. The program will: 

  • Serve qualifying children who are four years old by August 31, 2024 and not yet five years old 
  • Focus primarily on students who don’t currently have access to early childhood learning services or childcare
  • Qualify students based on financial, social-emotional or academic need
  • Be a full day academic program operating on a modified UPSD school year calendar
  • Focus on the key academic and social development skills children most need to be successful in kindergarten the following year
  • Be offered at no cost to participants or their families


Find answers to frequently asked questions here.

Eligibility Requirements

Students qualify for Transition Kindergarten through an application and screening process during which financial, academic, and social-emotional needs are assessed. 

  • The child must be 4 years old by August 31, 2024 and not yet 5 years old (5 year olds can register for traditional kindergarten on our K-12 registration page) 
  • The child resides within the attendance boundaries of University Place School District 
  • The child is not currently enrolled in an early learning program, such as: licensed childcare, preschool, co-op preschool, ECEAP, Head Start, etc. (full or part-time)
  • The child's family qualifies for financial assistance through the Free/Reduced Lunch Standards (USDA) 
  • The child demonstrates a need in areas associated with success in Kindergarten (learning, social-emotional, etc.)
  • Priority will be given to children most in need who have had little or no access to an early learning experience

How Do I Apply?

Please complete this initial application form to express interest in our Transition Kindergarten program. After completion, you will receive an email confirming your application has been received and a timeline of next steps. 

Space is very limited, so please apply soon!

Other Resources

Other resources for families in financial need searching for preschool are linked below:

(ECEAP) Early Childhood Educational Assistance Program 

(ECEAP) is a state-funded program for children from low-income families who are age three and four by August 31. The program is similar to the federally funded Head Start Program. Children qualify for this program on the basis of the family income. The program is coordinated and staffed through the Pierce County Community Action Agency. You can contact the Pierce County ECEAP at (253) 798-4400 (option 4) or visit their website.


Tacoma Community College Early Learning Center

Tacoma Community College is now running an early learning center open to the surrounding community. The program is paid for with funds from parent contributions, student fees, DCYF, EHS federal dollars and ECEAP state dollars. 


Contact Us

If you have questions about Transition Kindergarten, please call the University Place School District office at 253-566-5600 or email