1st Base

Preschool & College Savings Account
Providing the highest quality early child education


Program Overview:

Parents will be able to easily identify Home Run certified preschools which have programming that meets or exceeds Universal Preschool for West Sacramento (UP4WS) educational standards.


How it works:

The City of West Sacramento works with trained Early Learning Specialists to improve the quality of instruction, training of teaching staff and provide access to resources that can improve classroom environments and materials. Early Learning Specialists then rate preschools and certify those who meet and / or exceed quality standards.

Home Run certified high-quality preschools have met or exceeded quality standards in the following areas:

  • Child Observation: Home Run Certified Preschools offer evidence-based assessments / observation tools that offer information about each child’s development to guide curriculum planning
  • Development and health screenings: Home Run Certified Preschools ensures children are screened to support appropriate growth and development. Results are used to refer families to appropriate agencies for further assessment if needed
  • Teacher Qualifications: Home Run Certified Preschools supports ongoing professional learning and staff education
  • Effective teacher-child interactions / CLASS assessments: Home Run Certified Preschools promote high-quality teacher-child interactions and developmentally appropriate teaching and learning experiences
  • Program Environment Rating Scales: Home Run Certified Preschools offer safe and age-appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments for all children


Why this strategy:

Participation and completion of high quality preschool can have a tremendous impact in the life of a child. High quality preschool attendance and completion has been shown to have a reduce grade retention (getting held back a grade) and increase high school graduation rates.



Program Overview:

Beginning in 2018, kindergartners enrolled in the Washington Unified School District who have attended one of the certified high quality early learning preschools during the 17 – 18 school year will receive a $50 seed deposit by the City of West Sacramento and a $50 seed deposit by ScholarShare529, California’s 529 college savings plan, in their new city-sponsored college savings account.

ScholarShare529 provides tax-advantaged easy to use college savings accounts with a variety of investment options for you and your family to choose from.


How it works:

Step One: Determine your eligibility part I

Did your child complete one of the following Home Run certified high quality preschools during the 2017 – 2018 school year?

  1. Discovery Preschool
  2. Learning Ladder Preschool
  3. Alyce Norman State Preschool (no longer in operation)
  4. Stonegate State Preschool
  5. MILE Preschool
  6. Shores of Hope State Preschool 
  7. Headstart Preschool at West Sacramento Early College Prep (now called Headstart at Washington Middle College High School)
  8. Storybook Preschool
  9. Portside Preschool
  10. Little Busy Bees Preschool 
  11. Elkhorn Village Preschool

If you answered yes, then continue on to step two. If you answered no, then your child is ineligible. Not sure? Contact Early Learning Services Director Justine Jimenez at (916) 617-4549 or through email at [email protected]


Step Two: Determine your eligibility part II

Is your child currently enrolled in one of the following Washington Unified School District kindergartens for the 2018 – 2019 school year?

  1. Bridgeway Island K – 8 Elementary School
  2. Elkhorn Village Elementary School
  3. Riverbank Elementary School
  4. Southport Elementary School
  5. Stonegate Elementary School
  6. Westfield Village Elementary School
  7. Westmore Oaks Elementary School

If you answered yes, then continue on to step three. If you answered no, then your child is ineligible. Not sure? Contact Washington Unified School District Administrator of Communication and Community Outreach Giorgos Kazanis at (916) 375-7600 or through email at [email protected]


Step Three: Determine your eligibility for the optional ScholarShare 529 Matching Grant Program

The ScholarShare529 Matching Grant Program currently offers up to $225 in matching dollars for eligible families who open and contribute to a new ScholarShare529 account by December 31, 2018. Click here to learn more about the matching grant program or to apply for the matching grant.


  • If you are eligible for the matching grant program, you will be directed to complete step four after you’ve completed your matching grant program application
  • If you are ineligible for the matching grant program, continue to step four


Step Four: Create a ScholarShare529 account.

Click here to open your ScholarShare 529 college savings account. This process takes 10 – 15 minutes.

You will need the information listed here to open your ScholarShare529 account

For more information about ScholarShare529 or for assistance in opening your account, visit www.scholarshare529.com or contact a customer service representative toll-free at 1-800-544-5248.


Step Five: Complete and Submit Additional Information

Once your account has been created:

  • Complete the ScholarShare 529 West Sacramento Home Run – Authorize transfer of city funds form. You only need to complete Parts 1, “Account Information”, as well as sign and date Part 6 “Signature of Participant”
  • Submit this form to your child’s elementary school or to the third floor of City Hall at 1110 West Capitol Avenue

The City needs this information in order to confirm that you have created your ScholarShare529 Account and to link the $100 in matching funds, provided by the City of West Sacramento and ScholarShare529, to your account.

Please note that you will not be able to withdraw the city contributions from your child’s account until you request a withdrawal for qualified higher education expenses.

Requests can be made to the City of West Sacramento by emailing [email protected]


Why this strategy:

65 percent of U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2020. Completing some form education past high school is necessary for success in any career field, particularly for the high demand, high wage and high growth positions in West Sacramento. Children with college savings between $1 – $499 are three times more likely to attend college than their peers without savings and four times more likely to graduate.

How to Get Started:


View the list of certified preschools and choose one that works best for you and your child.


Once your child graduates preschool, find a WUSD kindergarten to be eligible for the city-sponsored College Savings Account and receive a $50 seed deposit to help your family save and plan for college. Complete the steps above to get started or attend an upcoming workshop on the College Savings Account program.

Program Success

Students enrolled in a High Quality, Certified Preschool