Transition Planning Resources

A lady building a wall with building blocks

The resources found here were designed to support teams that are thinking about and planning to work across systems to support children and families as they move from early childhood classrooms to kindergarten classrooms.

NCQTL Materials

Additional Resources


Bohan-Baker, M., & Little, P. M. D. (2002). The transition to kindergarten: A review of current research and promising practices to involve families [PDF, 267KB]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.
This brief includes research on children's transition to kindergarten as well as strategies that can help facilitate that transition.

Ferguson, C., & Wood, L. (2005). Easing the transition from pre-k to kindergarten: What schools and families can do to address child readiness [PDF, 263.83KB]. Austin, TX: National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools.
This is a strategy brief from the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools. The eight-page brief gives concrete steps schools can take to involve families in the transition process.


Pianta, R. C., & Kraft-Sayre, M. (2003). Successful kindergarten transition: Your guide to connecting children, families, and schools. Baltimore: Brookes.
This book describes a developmental, ecological, and collaborative model (Rimm-Kaufman & Pianta, 1999) of transitions and how to put this model into action. The text is peppered with quotes from families and school personnel and concludes with lessons from the field. These quotes and case write-ups give a voice to the experiences of these two groups as they worked to connect with each other throughout the transition process.

Sullivan-Dudzic, L., Gearns, D. K., & Leavell, K. (2010). Making a difference: Ten essential steps to building a prek-3 system. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
This book outlines how to connect early childhood education standards and goals to a K-3 system that involves community early education providers and ensures that young learners receive a high-quality foundation for their education. The authors present a 10-step, field-tested model that demonstrates how early childhood professionals and K-12 school leaders can outline a clear implementation plan for an integrated PreK-3 system.

Practical Guides

Bowman, B. T., & Cottone, P. A. (2005). Transition: Change with continuity: A handbook for teachers [PDF, 296.41KB]. Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education.
Transition is an ongoing process that requires involvement of both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten staff. This handbook is not a transition plan, but rather a guide to assist classroom staff in developing a plan for the transition of children from one program to another.

Good Beginnings Alliance (n.d.). Tips for parents on kindergarten transitions [PDF, 249.28KB].
In this document, the Good Beginnings Alliance of Hawaii uses material obtained from surveys of statewide transition activities and research-based best practices to offer parents a list of bulleted to-dos as they help their children prepare for kindergarten. Written from the voice of a child, the to-dos includes items such as, "Put me to bed and get me up at the new times for two weeks before school starts" (p. 2) and "Show me ways to make new friends, by having some of my classmates over to play" (p. 3). This brochure is a good example of how kindergarten readiness information can be distributed to parents and could easily be tailored for any state.

University of Pittsburgh, Office of Child Development (2012). Ready freddy: pathways to kindergarten success (Website)
The Ready Freddy website at provides a wealth of free resources for both families and practitioners including: an online interactive book for children, a learning activity calendar, articles that address issues surrounding kindergarten transition such as building transition teams and engaging parents in their child's education.

Selected resources from the Ready Freddy site are listed below:


Capistrano Unified School District (n.d.). From kindergartener to kindergartener: "What's important for you to know."
This video provides an introduction to kindergarten from a child's perspective.

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Last Updated: September 11, 2015