Effective Systems

Embracing the Big Picture: The State of New Jersey’s Road Toward a PK3 Continuum


While quality Pre-kindergarten programs are important contributors to young children’s educational success, systems at both the state and district levels, must be in place to provide a continuum of quality educational experiences from Pre-kindergarten through Grade Three.

For the past nine years, New Jersey primarily focused on implementing high quality Pre-kindergarten in its poorest school districts. The State has recently taken steps to develop an aligned and coordinated system that links quality Pre-kindergarten programs with Kindergarten and the early elementary grades (PreK-3rd).

This policy brief, from the Association for Children of New Jersey, examines this newly developing state system and identifies why its development is important, what factors are necessary for successful implementation, and what barriers must be overcome.