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    Preschool: It's fundamental learning that spells success.

    The little girls in this image are linked by what is fundamental for every child: the building blocks of early learning and the absolute joy of positive social interaction.

    Teachers in LAUP-funded and -rated preschools ignite this love of academic learning and peer interaction—tapping into these innate desires to learn and socialize through the magic of play.

    When parents ask us what quality preschool looks like, we show them: positive teacher-child interactions, clean and safe classrooms and playgrounds, age-appropriate materials and curriculum, opportunities for parent engagement, qualified teachers, low student-teacher ratios and more.

    Since our inception 10 years ago, LAUP has been invested in not only LA County’s preschoolers, but in their future, and in our future as a community. When we fund, rate and coach a preschool to a higher standard, we are giving young children a powerful advantage now, tomorrow and for years to come.

    Quality preschool is the startup, the starting block to what we know will catapult our children— regardless of their family’s socioeconomic status—into a successful kindergarten year and beyond.

    Studies show that children who attend quality preschools enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills than those who do not.

    After a year in LAUP-rated preschools, children surpassed the national average in math and literacy. Our data and real-life testimonies from LAUP’s former preschoolers and their families attest to this. Just ask former LAUP preschooler Leila Valencia.

    “When I started kindergarten, I felt ready, and I wasn’t too shy because my preschool teacher had helped me. Her name was Teacher Belinda, and she was just wonderful,” says Leila, who started off her k-12 education with Student of the Month and other academic awards.

    Leila says she met her best friend in an LAUP preschool, and now, at 12, they are still best friends today. “Preschool was just really exciting,” she says. “And I still love going to school.”

    Leila’s future plans include attending UCLA and becoming a doctor.

    Leila’s parents, who also sent her younger brothers to LAUP preschools, believe their children will reach their dreams because of the starting foundation that a strong early education gave them.

    “It was a big, big help for their teachers and for the school to have our kids prepared going in,” Laila’s mother, Monica Valencia, says. “They told us, ‘You did your part as parents.’ Our kids have been on track. I’m really proud to say that, from the start, they have continued a great school journey. They are where they need to be and beyond.”