PRESS RELEASE: A Survey of ECE Visibility and Alignment in California School Districts

Jan 22, 2021

Berkeley, CA A new survey report released by the Center for District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education (DIAL EE) provides preliminary benchmark data on California’s early learning landscape from the perspective of school districts that implemented the California State Preschool Program (CSPP). The report explores the degree to which school districts valued early learning and how their districts were organized to align and integrate early childhood education within their K-12 systems. Multiple methods for collecting data were used, including an electronic survey, website review, funding data review, and conversations with current early childhood education school district leads. 

Key Findings:

  • 14% of school districts leveraged their Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to fund early care and education programs, and over 25% reported using federal Title 1 dollars. 
  • 27% of district early childhood education leaders reported that their position was a cabinet-level position. 
  • When reviewing the school district websites with CPSS contracts, 24% mentioned preschool or early learning on the home landing page; 28% of websites did not provide even basic information about the preschool program, such as the hours of operation, or program philosophy or curriculum.
  • School districts with CSPP contracts experienced a 53% change in early childhood education lead and 58% change in Superintendent; and more than one-third (39%), had a change in both the early childhood education lead and the Superintendent position in the five years studied.

“The findings provide useful information about where school districts are in terms of integrating and aligning early education into their overall efforts. It is exciting to see the bright spots while confirming the need for further work to be done,” said Carla Bryant, Executive Director of the Center for District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education.

The survey report was an effort organized by the DIAL EE fellows and advisors who are school district leaders and experts in early childhood education.


Center for District Innovation And Leadership in Early Education utilizes content experts, data, research, and a continuous improvement process to assist school districts with aligning early education and K-12 systems to improve outcomes for all children, preschool through 5th grade. 

Media contact: Karen Vang, [email protected], 510.519.7480