Early Learning Public-Private Partnerships

What are Public-Private Prekindergarten Partnerships?

Public-private prekindergarten partnerships are collaborations between local education agencies (LEAs) such as school districts or open-enrollment charter schools, and private child care or Head Start programs. LEAs, and private child care or Head Start programs, may establish formal or informal partnerships based on enrollment and development activities. The partnerships are developed to reflect the needs of children and families, local resources available, and community trends.

Public-private prekindergarten partnerships are encouraged because of the collaborative opportunities and benefits they foster, and are required by Texas Education Code 29.1533 in some situations. Providers must also meet solicitation, eligibility, and enrollment requirements required by TEC §29.171

A Prekindergarten Partnership in Action


Partnership Informational Overview


Partnership Process

Partnership Process

How LEAs, child care programs, and Head Start programs establish a partnership.

Administrative Requirements

Administrative Requirements

Attendance Accounting Requirements and Data Reporting Requirements

Benefits of Partnerships

Public-private prekindergarten partnerships allow LEAs, child care programs, and Head Start programs to leverage local resources, funding, and expertise. Partnerships benefit stakeholders by:

  • Children and Families

    • Offering expanded educational opportunities for families of eligible 3- and 4-year-old children. 
    • Creating longer hours of care in more diverse settings and locations, and access to potential comprehensive services (e.g., oral, physical, and mental health services; career or job assistance; family engagement programs; nutrition services; social services/basic needs assistance; development al screenings or assessments).
    • Assisting the transition for children from prekindergarten to kindergarten.


  • LEAs

    • Providing increased capacity to serve more eligible 3- and 4-year-old students and promoting an increase the number of children who are ready for kindergarten. 
    • Creating a greater sense of community awareness about educational opportunities.
    • Establishing unique and specialized early childhood expertise of the early learning partner (e.g., developmentally appropriate practice, health and wellness supports).


  • Child Care and Head Start Programs

    • Creating new, sustainable streams of funding for educational opportunities. 
    • Opening communication across the local early childhood community, increasing resources and shared professional development, and providing alignment of curriculum and assessments.

Funding Partnerships  

Public-private prekindergarten partnerships can blend multiple sources of funding for care, education, and comprehensive services to children and families, such as:

  • Full-day prekindergarten with enhanced services and extended hours
  • Year-round, full-day prekindergarten with enhanced services and/or extended hours 
  • Potential funding options for partnerships between LEAs and child care programs  

LEAs in partnerships can utilize Foundation School Program (FSP) funding, early education allotment funding, or other funding sources to provide a full-day of instruction and/or make improvement efforts to meet the high-quality prekindergarten components. Child care programs should check with their local workforce development board to determine which childcare subsidy rate they are eligible to receive based on the number of program hours funded. 

The following resource link is for stakeholders seeking additional information regarding financial considerations for prekindergarten partnerships. Through our collaboration with the Texas Workforce Commission and Texas A&M University, stakeholders can view three previously recorded webinars regarding funding streams, using a financial template, and additional considerations for financial modeling for prekindergarten partnerships. Additionally, a financial forecasting template is available for use.


Charter School Considerations

An open enrollment charter school that would like to develop a prekindergarten partnership with a high-quality child care program or Head Start program must follow the same provisions as school districts, with the following additional requirements:

  • The charter school must be in good standing with TEA.
  • The charter school must be authorized to serve the age levels served in the prekindergarten program.
  • The charter school must be authorized to serve children on the site of the prekindergarten partnership   program.
  • The charter school must be authorized to serve children from the residential areas of the children enrolled at the prekindergarten partnership program.
  • Enrollment of children in the partnership program combined with the charter school’s student enrollment may not exceed the charter school’s maximum enrollment.

Meeting these requirements may involve the application for one or more expansion amendments with the Charter Schools Division of TEA, as prescribed in Texas Administrative Code §100.1033. Charter schools must receive approval for expansion amendments before receiving funding for prekindergarten partnership programs. The expansion amendment application and approval process may require several months, which may extend the implementation timeline for starting a prekindergarten partnership program. Please contact
CharterSchools@tea.texas.gov for questions about the charter school expansion amendment process.

Support and Services

Pre-K Partnership Assistance

TEA partners with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to support prekindergarten partnerships. TWC will give qualifying child care programs a one-time award of up to $25,000 for each new partnership classroom. The child care program and local education agency must be working with the TWC Pre-K Partnership Team during the partnership process. To find out more about prekindergarten partnerships and how TWC can help create a partnership that suits your program's needs, please email prekpartnerships@twc.texas.gov.

Head Start Partnership Resources

The National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning has developed many great resources for partnerships between Head Start and child care programs, with some that can be modified for use in partnerships with LEAs.

Child Care Maps

TWC has developed a tool that allows users to search for available childcare in their area that also denotes Texas Rising Star providers. 

Children at Risk has developed an interactive tool that shows where low-income families need quality childcare and how communities can increase access for all children. The tool highlights school districts, elementary school campuses, various types of childcare providers (Texas Rising Star, Texas School Ready, nationally accredited), and Head Start providers.