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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 15 - Licensed Preschool Programs > 15.1 - Description of Licensed Preschool Programs


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​​​​​Generally, preschools in a parish or school fall into two governance models:

The preschool is established as part of a parish. These preschools are currently licensed under the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles​, a California corporation sole on behalf of the parish. This means:

  • The pastor is the administrator of the preschool.

  • All preschool finances are accounted for at the parish level and the preschool budget is prepared by the preschool director and is subject to approval by the pastor.

  • The preschool director is responsible to and accountable to the pastor.

  • This model includes parish preschools established by the parish independently of an existing parish school.

The preschool is established as part of the parish elementary school or high school. These preschools are currently licensed under the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Education & Welfare Corporation​ on behalf of the particular elementary school or high school. This means:

  • The principal oversees the licensed preschool program, delegates responsibilities to the preschool director, and obtains the usual approval of the pastor for school matters.

  • The preschool budget is prepared by the preschool director and is ​​subject to review and approval by the principal since preschool finances are part of the school's finances, though accounted for separately.

  • The preschool director is responsible to and accountable to the principal.

In the State of California, licensed preschool programs are considered "child care programs" and must be licensed through the California Department of Social Services.

Typical preschools serve children of multi-ages in one or more classrooms. The children must be at least two and a half years old and may be as old as five years, and even older depending on the needs of the individual child. Within the preschool, children may be grouped in multi-age or same-age groups.


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