Gay Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs is part of the Palm Springs Unified School System.  Early childhood education is vital.  Here’s how to enroll in Palm Springs Unified’s programs.

Posted on July 28, 2022

By Myra Acosta The Desert Sun 1 day ago

The Palm Springs Unified School District’s Early Childhood Education program is currently enrolling students for the 2022-23 school year.

In our school district, we offer a multitude of programs for preschool-aged children and will be phasing in Universal Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten, also known as UPK, for all children over the next five years.

Research has shown that early childhood education has an important positive impact on children because much of adult brain development occurs by age 6. The California Department of Education and state superintendent of public instruction announced in their 2020-21 budget many new and expanded investments in education to support the whole child, family and community, multilingual learners and inclusion for all students in Universal Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten.

Universal Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten offer a historic opportunity to provide high-quality early learning experiences to all children and will be phased in here in our district. We will move from serving older 4-year-old children to all 4-year-old children by the 2025-26 school year. There are also new requirements to support a high-quality learning experience in Transitional Kindergarten that includes providing one adult for every 12 students in the classroom Transitional Kindergarten teachers are now required to meet the same credentialing requirements as kindergarten teachers.

At the same time, we are working to carry out the California Department of Education’s Preschool through Third Grade alignment plan aimed at closing the gaps relative to inequitable practices around opportunities and learning outcomes. To that end, we provide district curriculum alignment training and support; access for all children to full-day, inclusive, high-quality environments; public and community programs; professional development for staff; compliance; reporting; and health and nutrition services for all students.

For the 2022-23 school year, which begins for all of PSUSD on Aug. 10, we offer the federally funded Head Start program for children aged 3 and 4 whose families are considered low income under federal guidelines. Full-day classes are provided 135 days per school year from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 11 sites. Part-day classes are held from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Cathedral City Elementary.

Our state-funded preschool programs serve 3- and 4-year-olds who meet state low-income requirements. Part-day classes are held five days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m at 12 sites.

Through our Early Head Start program, we also offer services to pregnant women and families of children birth to 3 years old. Teachers visit children’s homes once per week and interact with families regarding a wide array of early childhood development topics such as accessing pre- and post-natal care, early literacy, health, nutrition, positive parent/child activities, social services and parent education Monthly socialization meetings are held with other families with young children.

For more information on Early Childhood Education site locations or to register online, visit PSUSD Early Childhood Education Programs at or call (760) 883-2703, option 1.

Myra Acosta is Palm Springs Unified School District’s Director of Early Childhood Education. She may be reached at