Transition to Kindergarten

More than 320,000 children and their families transition from Head Start programs to kindergarten every year. When these transitions are successful, children and families are more likely to experience better long-term school success. There are four points of connection that, when strengthened, facilitate effective transitions: Family-School, Child-School, Program-School, and Community-School. Such connections with local schools strengthen when these high-quality practices are implemented: Sharing Information, Building Relationships, and Establishing Alignment.

Explore these videos, guides, and other helpful resources to support program and school efforts to understand the importance of the transition to kindergarten. Learn how to strengthen the four points of connection and implement transition practices that ensure all children and families are ready to engage and succeed in school.

Before you begin, check out the Transition to Kindergarten: Resource Guide for an interactive catalogue of the resources below. Find suggested ways to use them based on the needs of those you support and the training opportunities ahead of you.

Follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #KeepTheirHeadStart.

Building Bridges

A boy looks at the sky through binocularsGather Information: What You Need to Know About the Transition to Kindergarten

Discover what research says about supporting effective transitions to kindergarten.

See It: Videos of Effective Practice in ActionA teacher supervises a girl writing letters

Watch and learn from effective educators, families, children, leaders, and community members. They share their experiences, feelings, and key practices around fostering partnerships and successful kindergarten transitions.

a parent holding his child has a talk with a teacherApply It: Practical Guides and Planning Tools

Explore concrete strategies and step-by-step plans that leaders, educators, and families can use to navigate the transition to kindergarten.

three women having a discussion while sitting around a table with notebooksHost a Summit: Supporting Materials

Smooth transitions depend on strong partnerships between Head Start programs and local education agencies (LEAs). Head Start and school leaders can use this set of materials to organize and carry out a successful local transition to kindergarten summit. Materials include a summit guide, customizable presentation slides, and planning tools.

children watching to a computer monitorRelated Webinars

Join our hosts and guest experts as they dive into a variety of key transition topics.