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Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide access to quality preschool education for children in Los Angeles County. We believe all children deserve the best start in life, and a quality preschool education provides them with a solid foundation for success. While access and affordability are core commitments of LAUP, our dedication to improving the overall quality of preschool is what gives the LAUP model national potential.

Affordability, Accessibility and Quality

LAUP has a proven commitment to increasing preschool access and affordability in Los Angeles County as evidenced by the 60,000 children who have been educated in over 300 LAUP funded preschools since 2005.

A strong focus on quality is demonstrated through our 5-Star Quality Rating and Improvement System, which served as a model for a statewide rating system.  The rating scale evaluates the quality of preschool using criteria developed in collaboration with early childhood education experts, educators and parents.  This system improves the effectiveness of classrooms and the overall educational experience through its intensive coaching model. It also provides parents with an easy to understand star rating scale to assist in their selection of a quality preschool.  More than half of all LAUP providers have achieved at least 4 out of 5 stars on this rating system.

LAUP is serving as a model to other counties and states by:

Creating new preschool spaces efficiently
In addition to new buildings, LAUP provides funds to operate previously empty classrooms, and constantly looks for opportunities to maximize the use of public and private funds.

Making preschool more affordable
Preschool is often out of reach for middle and working-class families. That’s why LAUP provides access to quality preschools at little to no cost, and families are not turned away because they cannot afford to pay or due to their geographic location within Los Angeles County. 

Giving preschools the funding they need
LAUP provides funding that enables preschools to hire and retain qualified teachers, and fill their classrooms with materials that maximize the children’s learning experience.

Continuously improving quality
Through intensive quality coaching, support, and the development of exemplary practices in a number of important areas, LAUP strives to raise the bar in quality for early care and education programs.  LAUP even supports preschools that do not meet its initial standards for quality, so they may reach their potential and join our network.

Letting families choose
Families have the option of choosing from a wide range of LAUP preschool programs. LAUP funds preschool classrooms in public schools (including charters), private schools, community and for-profit centers, and we are one of the few preschool programs that include home-based family child care programs as full partners. LAUP does not restrict enrollment in any of the programs it funds – all children are welcome. However, due to public funding restrictions, some LAUP-funded preschool programs have their own income limitations.

Connecting our programs to their communities
Involving families in decision-making, working to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers and developing programs that link community services to our preschools is the best way to having successful partnerships with our schools, families and communities. LAUP’s goal is to enroll as many four-year-olds as possible in high-quality preschools throughout Los Angeles County, where a universal preschool system would then be the largest in the nation, and the second largest among all state systems.


 LAUSD LAUP website