Every year, children and families transition into and out of your program. Whether moving from home to an early education program or from one early education setting to another, transition presents children and families with opportunities and challenges. Transitioning to a new environment can be exciting and interesting, but also challenging and stressful. Collaborating with families to create well-planned, respectful practices can help make transition a positive experience for all children and families, as well as for you and others who work with them.
The transition from home to an early education program, or from one program to another, is a major event in children’s lives. Moving from a familiar to an unfamiliar environment can be exciting but also challenging for young children and their families. Program policies and practices can facilitate smooth transitions and a sense of continuity for children and families across old and new settings.
During the course of a child’s life, change is inevitable. Families move, siblings are born, school begins and, consequently, transitions happen. Knowing about children’s development can help us understand how children respond to transition. In addition, when program staff collaborate with families, they can learn how individual children experience change. Staff can also learn how to help children feel secure and comfortable during transition.
Daily separations and reunions are part of the fabric of relationships. In center-based programs, they provide opportunities to develop a young child's skill at making positive transitions.
Preschool children make the transition into kindergarten more successfully when their schools and families prepare it together, and when their preschool and kindergarten teachers connect.
Reading is at the heart of all learning. Children begin to learn language skills as babies. This tip sheet shares how you can help build your child's reading and language skills in their early years.
Transition to Kindergarten summits offer unique opportunities to gather state and district level leaders in early learning and kindergarten transition. Watch the videos below for examples of a Transition to Kindergarten Summit.
Fostering Early Learning Collaboration: Thomas Schultz
Transitions: A Community Perspective on Transitioning Into Kindergarten
Transition to Kindergarten: Transition and Alignment Summit Guide