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

Author: Cynthia Rice, Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) / December 1, 2007

While quality Prekindergarten 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 Prekindergarten through Grade Three.

For the past nine years, New Jersey primarily focused on implementing high quality Prekindergarten in its poorest school districts.  The State has recently taken steps to develop an aligned and coordinated system that links quality Prekindergarten 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.