Children experience many transitions, including from home to an early care and education setting, between age groups or program settings, and from preschool to kindergarten. Supporting these transitions is critically important.
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.
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.
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. Also, by coordinating transition efforts, preschool and elementary programs can help children maintain and maximize the gains they made in preschool. Watch this video recordings and use the materials below to plan an carry a successful transition for all your preschool children to kindergarten.
Supporting transitions can have positive effects on children and families, and collaboration is key to effective transition. Each brief in this series focuses on a different partnership level: the child and family, early educators, early care and education (ECE) programs, and ECE partners.
Summit Planning Resources
Learn strategies to communicate and collaborate with other ECE programs, elementary schools, and community stakeholders. This brief identifies ways programs can promote continuity between programs.
The News You Can Use e-newsletter supports teachers, home visitors, and parents in providing quality care for infants and toddlers. This issue of the e-newsletter offers ideas for supporting the many kinds of transitions children and adults experience in Early Head Start.
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.
You can be sure that your child is ready for school. Research shows that many things make a difference in how well preschool children perform in school. You may use this tip sheet as you search for a caregiver and as you enroll your child in kindergarten.