Supporting Transitions for Children and Families
Adriana Bernal: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Home Visitors Webinar Series. I am Adriana Bernal, one of your presenters for this series. My colleague Roselia and I are from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, known as DTL. Roselia, it is great to be back for another informative session. How about you share with us what we have planned for our session today?
Roselia Ramirez: Sure. Hi, Adriana. It sure is great to be back for another session. For our topic today, we will be talking about something that I believe we can all relate to, especially now, and that is transition. If we stop and think about it, we're constantly experiencing transitions. We may think about them also as experiencing change. As adults, we may have experienced things such as sending children to child care or school for the first time, going back to school ourselves as adults, changing jobs, dealing with health issues, adding or losing a family member, or moving to a new place. These can all be considered changes. You know, children, just like adults, experience many changes over time, and throughout their day and without their experiencing feelings and emotions as they anticipate or react to the changes, and this is often seen through their behaviors.
Adriana: That is right, Roselia. It is important for us to also consider that, in addition to all these expected changes, for the past year, as a collective, we have also experienced a significant change with social distancing and the effects of COVID-19. Our children, families, and communities have endured drastic changes in the way of living and how they do things every day.
Roselia: Absolutely. We're living in a time of a national pandemic, and it's a big change for children and families. For our discussion today, our topic is focused on supporting transition for children and families.
Adriana: Yes, and I know this topic is a nice continuation to our theme of social and emotional development. Children's responses to transitions reflect where they are developmentally as well as who they are as individuals. Speaking of that, Roselia, could you tell us about our special guest today?
Roselia: Oh, absolutely. I'm really excited to introduce … For our session today, we want to welcome Melisa Jaen. She's a senior TTA specialist and our colleague here at DTL, and she's going to be sharing some of her experience and expertise when it comes to supporting home visitors. We do look forward to engaging with her on this topic.
Adriana: We have two areas of focus that will frame our discussion today. After our time together, our hope is that you will explore how children and families you work with experience big and small transitions as well as to discuss strategies and resources to support transitions for children and families in your program.
Roselia: Alright, I think that we're ready to get started now. Let's begin by defining what we mean by transition. Any time children or adults move from one activity to the next, or from one environment or program to the next, they're experiencing a transition – and we know that they have many throughout their day. We can think about transitions in two ways. First, we have big transitions, and then there's small transitions. Let's talk about the big kinds of transitions that children and families might experience together. We mentioned some of these big transitions at the start of our session, like starting a new job or moving to a new place. In addition to those, the COVID pandemic has brought about some other big transitions for our children and families. For instance, changing from in-person home visits to virtual and back is just one example. Maybe … Let's see, another example of big transition is moving from one early childhood program to another, maybe leaving an infant-toddler home-based program and transitioning to a center-based preschool program, or moving from the threes to a pre-K classroom.
Adriana: Yeah, I agree, Roselia. We also need to think about other services that might change during the big transitions. For example, for a child with disabilities, moving from infant and toddler or home to preschool, not only does the environment change, but so does services received under the IDEA. Shifting from Part C to Part B services may also include working with a different service organization or a different specialist. Also, another big transition that preschool-age children and their families will make under typical circumstances is the transition to kindergarten classroom, which is a big one. When children start any new programs, there will be a transition period for both the parents and the children, from being at home or in a specific program to now going to a different setting each day – different structure and different expectations. It's almost like both the family and the child are going through these big transitions together. Second, we can think about small transitions that happen each day between routines and activities. This includes home activities during the day to accommodate the needs of all members of the family – introducing [Inaudible] to an infant, for example, moving from lunch to naptime, or transitioning from free play to other time. Under other circumstances, these will also include dropping children off and picking them up from school or child care.
Roselia: Sure. And when we really stop to think about it, we do a lot of transitioning during our days. Throughout transitions, we want to think about the development of the child. For example, because of the rapid development that occurs with infancy, there are a lot of transitions as students move through these stages of growth. The rapid developmental changes of infancy require adults to be responsive to these transitions and to maintain ongoing communication with families. As children grow and develop, their needs change as well as the kinds and the amount of support that they will need to make transitions successful. The bottom line here is that transitions are a part of life. Children need our help to manage these changes. Change is something that is inevitable. Families may move, siblings might be born, school begins, and consequently, transitions are happening.
Adriana: Yes, that is true. And we know a lot about how to facilitate expected transitions, but we do it every day. As adults, we have experienced transitions frequently throughout our lives and have learned a variety of supports to help us get through them smoothly. As adults, we have developed tools to manage our responses to these changes, but children need our help.
Roselia: Alright. You know, Adriana, I think that this would be a good place to pause and to have a moment for reflection. We want you to think about all of the transitions that you have experienced over the course of your life. In your participants' guide, we want you to take a little of a reflection moment, and we want you to write down some things that you find to be supportive during periods of change. We're going to pause and have, again, a moment of reflection. And we're going to let you jot down those ideas in your participant guide.
Adriana: The things that you wrote down that are effective for you are the practices you have learned along the way – listening to music, exercising, yelling at the top of your lungs, taking deep breaths. You tested them through transitions, and they worked for you. Research shows that the more transition practices are in place, leads to a better overall adjustment during time of change.
Roselia: Absolutely, and it's also important for us to mention that certain children, including those with disabilities or suspected delays and dual-language learners, transitions can be challenging. We want to make sure that we think about developing transition practices with the individual needs of each child and family in mind. I think we know that parenting young children is an emotional time, and with all the changes that we're experiencing at all levels now, families need support from their programs more than ever. Children experience many transitions in their young lives. With each new setting comes a new environment, routines, activities, and people, as well as different expectations. When early education programs, schools, and community organizations collaborate, they can create continuity across the systems. And continuity makes transitions smooth, and it promotes a sense of belonging for both the children and their families. When we think of this process, we tend to shift our thinking to those bigger transitions or movements between program settings. However, you can also think of this process as occurring between a home visitor and the family. Let's talk a little bit about what effective transition looks like. Adriana, how about you get us started on that topic.
Adriana: Yeah, sure. Typically, when people are asked what helped them make a successful transition, their responses, no matter the type of transition, can be grouped into three categories. First, people say that it was very helpful to have a lot of information about where they were going next. Second, people stress that it was very helpful to know someone – to have a relationship with a person in the next environment. And third, people say that when some things are aligned or familiar in the next environment, it makes them feel less stressed. This applies to both children and adults. No matter whether the transition was big or small, infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and adults need information, relationships, and alignment to support them.
Roselia: This is a really great way to think about this. As home visitors, it can be helpful to talk with families about how they transition to and from different activities throughout the day to increase consistency for the child. In many cases, you can point out that families are already providing these elements, and they don't even realize it. An example that comes to my mind is moving from playtime to diaper change and then back to playtime. The information component would be letting the infant or the toddler know that you're going to pick them up or lead them to the changing table. And for relationship, think about what is happening and how the child will react based on the relationship that you have and how you can develop the relationship by being sensitive and responsive. When we think about alignment, this happens when we share the routine with another family member or caregiver so that the diaper-changing experience for the child will be similar when cared for by someone else.
Adriana: Yes, and with a preschool-age child, an example could be that, moving from play inside to going outside, information will be letting the child know that it will be time to clean up in a few minutes to go outside. During the transition from clean-up to putting jackets on, the relationship that has been developed with the child helps family members know the level of support that he needs during this transition so they can be sensitive. This transition time can also be used to build the relationship by talking about the child about what they need and what's coming next. And finally, alignment or familiarity – this can mean consistency in how the transition occurs each time so the child knows what to expect. Or the family could use a similar clean-up song or routine that happens at socialization, for example.
Roselia: That's a great example, Adriana. Let's keep moving forward, OK? Learning how to manage change requires certain skills, and as home visitors, there are many ways that we can help families to support their children to learn how to cope with big and small transitions that are a part of life. Home visitors can support families to identify transitions that they may experience, then support them with information about developmentally appropriate reactions and transition activities. There are a series of transition briefs that are available on the ECLKC that focus on building collaboration to support effective transitions. Adriana, you can tell our audience about these resources?
Adriana: Yeah, these are great resources, Roselia. Each brief in this series focuses on a different partnership level. The first one, "Using Child Development as Our Guide," the focus is on using child development to support transitions. We have "Early Educators Partnering with Families" – focuses on effective partnerships with families. "Program Policies and Practices" focuses on establishing policies and practices that promote collaborative approaches to transition. "Working with Early Education Partners" focuses on partnerships with other early childhood programs, schools, and community stakeholders.
Roselia: These are great resources, indeed, and they have been included on your resource list that is available in the green widget. For our session today, we'll be highlighting one of these briefs, "Using Child Development as a Guide.” Children's reactions to transition and the strategies that they use to cope are often related to their developmental level. For example, an infant might experience separation anxiety and cry when a familiar caregiver is absent. The infant might suck their thumb to try to self-soothe; a toddler might use a familiar toy or blanket from home to help comfort them through changes; and preschool-age children may ask many questions or take deep breaths to try to help them calm down. Research indicates that children of all ages may display regressive or behavior that is challenging to adults during or after transitions. When families are aware of what they might expect, then they're better able to support children before, during, and after transitions.
Adriana: Yes, this an excellent resource to help inform our discussion today, Roselia. "Knowledge of child development can help us understand how transition may affect the developing child.” We must consider that individual differences play a role in a child's reaction to transition. Some children will adjust easily. Others might need more time, and things such as temperament and cultural background will influence how children manage their emotions.
Roselia: Absolutely. You know what? I think this is a great place for us to invite our special guest to join in on the discussion. Melisa, first, we'd like to thank you for joining us and for sharing your perspective and knowledge on this topic. When we think about child development as our guide, where would you suggest that we begin this discussion?
Melisa Jaen: Hello everyone. I am so excited to be part of today's discussion and be able to share with you some work that I have done in supporting home visitors and families as they support children through the various transition that they experience. And what we know is that successful transitions are highly dependent on whether a child feels safe and trusts the adult who cares for them.
Adriana: Yes, Melisa, those are very important. Speaking of transitions and feeling safe, let's also think about what kinds of transitions families have been experiencing in the past 12 months. Just like it was hard to transition from in-person business to virtual business during social distancing, going back to in-person visits can be a challenge when the family is still navigating challenging situations or stressors. As home visitors, we can support families to reflect through their presents needs, share appropriate resources, and encourage positive parent-child interactions to support transitions.
Melisa: Yes, Adriana, that is a great point. Before addressing some possible ways to support families during transitions, we need to consider that families may still be experiencing high levels of stress given the prolonged situation of social distancing and COVID restrictions and outcomes. Knowing that development does not stop during difficult times, and believing that parents want to be the best – they want the best for their children, our role is to help them learn strategies to parent and cope in any given situation. We must work towards supporting their role as their first and most important educator of their children. Adults – including family members, teachers, caregivers, family service workers, family child care providers, and home visitors – play an important role in supporting young children through transitions. Adults can help children feel safe and secure and can turn transitions into learning experiences that support children's growth and development in all domains. Supporting children during transitions can have far-reaching effects on their emotional well-being and their academic success.
Roselia: That is a great point, Melisa. As adults, we need to ensure that we get the help that we need so that we can better support children during transitions. We know that this will certainly impact the quality of the support children received for their emotional well-being as well as their academic success, but what do we need to know when it comes to learning how to manage change?
Melisa: Learning how to manage change can be categorized into three areas – preparation, skills, and practice. Children need support before, during, and after transitions to assist them in managing change. Learning how to manage change requires certain skills, so they need adults to help them manage and master how they deal with and learn from changes that occur. There are many ways we can help children and their families learn how to cope with the big and small transitions that are part of their life. One way is to provide them with information in advance about predictable changes. Also, we can share information with families about the range of reactions that these changes can be expected in children at different developmental stages. And also, we know that often children do not have the words for all the different emotions that come with transitions, right? We have this resource, "Help Us Calm Down," that you can share with families with different strategies that they can use with young children. The more they practice the strategies, the more likely children are to use them when they are experiencing anger, stress, sadness, or frustration. These strategies can simply help children be prepared, develop those skills, and, when practiced, these can become a natural support to work through difficult times. A link to this resource is included in the resource handout.
Adriana: You know, Melisa, as we think about preparation, skills, and practice, I would also like to add that routines support children's learning. Now more than ever, most family members are at home during the day. Having set routines and knowing what to expect is critical for children and families. Stability and continuity or predictable routines help children gain self-confidence and capacity to manage transitions effectively. Some transitions are predictable. They have a consistent familiar timing in order to do them, such as mealtimes and bedtimes. Other transitions are unpredictable, such as when a child is sick and cannot go to school or engage in their daily home routine.
Melisa: Absolutely. Unpredictable transitions have inconsistent timing and expectation that are unknown to the child and their family, making them harder to respond to effectively. Predictable routines make transition much easier for children and their families. Very early in life, children learn to anticipate routines, and they like knowing what happens next. Familiarity helps children feel safe, secure, and cared for. And stability and continuity help children gain self-confidence and the capacity to manage transitions effectively.
Roselia: This is a great point, and one area that home visitors can focus on with families that they support. Helping families to understand the benefits of clear schedules and routines starts with compassion and understanding. We want families to recognize the learning opportunities that can occur during their daily routine. Daily caregiving routines such as holding, rocking, bathing, feeding, dressing, and talking all help create new connections in the brain and build positive parent-child relationships. Home visitors can support families by recognizing how housekeeping routines such as laundry, cooking, and general cleaning can all support learning opportunities. When children are included in housekeeping routines, they learn within the context of their everyday environment and experiences, and families can see how they are needing to create and make additional time for learning. They can incorporate the opportunities throughout their daily routine.
Are you on mute, Adriana, by chance? Because we can't hear you.
Adriana: I was just thinking that home visitors can support families to adjust to children's involvement in routines based on their unique needs and development. For children with disabilities or suspected delays, home visitors can talk to families about supporting their child's development in IFSP or IEP goals during their daily home activities. They may focus on skills that need practice in everyday routines such as meal time, outdoor play, getting dressed, and reading stories. When home visitors help families identify how they are supporting their children already, we ease the challenge or burden on families who might feel they need to plan and implement lessons at home. Most importantly, as home visitors, we want to be sure to ask families what they want to address or what areas of support is most needed.
Melisa: Yes, and to summarize this discussion, preparation and planning can make it easier to support families in creating or adjusting their routine. And depending on the child's age, they can also help plan with their families. And everyday routines provide families with additional opportunities to plan activities and enhance their skills as their child's teacher. On the resource list, we included a few sample daily schedules that you can share with your families. These are simply sample schedules that are broken down by the age group – one for children under 12 months; another one, children 12 to 18 months, and one for children 2 to 4 years of age. You can let families know that these are just examples, and just to give them an idea of what a typical day looks like based on a child's developmental needs, and that they can modify these schedules to fit their own family routines as well as to meet their child's unique interest and temperament.
Roselia: Yeah, perfect. Great handy, dandy, little tools there for families. Let’s shift gears here for a moment and talk about supporting dual language learners during transitions. We have talked about the importance of warm, responsive interactions between children and adults during transition. This is critically important for children who are dual language learners. They may feel nervous or confused if they do not understand or speak the language spoken in a new early education setting or the language of the home visitor. Whenever possible, home visitors should speak the language spoken by the family. When this is not possible, home visitors can help children who are dual language learners overcome those communication challenges and feel welcome and comfortable during home visits, group socializations, as well as transitions.
Melisa: Yes, definitely. The use of nonverbal cues, such as gestures, facial expression, and words in the child's home language, such as "hola" for hello, "baño" for bathroom, will definitely help the child understand what is going on and what to expect. And as home visitors, you can learn some basic words in the home language to build a relationship with that child. You can learn stories, activities, and music that reflect the child's home language and cultural traditions. These will help the child develop a sense of belonging, as well. When possible, you can ask the family to help you learn these basic words. It will only help you also build that relationship with them, as well.
Adriana: Much of what we have been talking about so far sets the stage for building a foundation of support, and we can offer it to families to help them manage transitions and support the children. We build awareness by discussing what transitions can or are happening during a day and within different situations. We help them to reflect and plan what they might expect from their child or themselves as well as identify supportive practices in learning opportunities that they can reinforce with a child or use themselves. This foundation of support is very helpful in certain times like those we're experiencing because it helps families to take some control of the situation and know that they have a supportive partner, and that’s you. And one of the resources that we want to highlight is the “Tips for Helping Your Child During the Pandemic.” We have included this on your resource list, and many of the strategies that we are sharing today are included. This is a great resource that home visitors can share with families and talk through individualizing the tips to meet their needs during this time. [Clears throat]
Roselia: Absolutely, and, of course, we want to mention the ELOF. We've talked about how and why children respond to transitions has much to do with where they are developmentally. Their individual temperament and previous experiences can be factors, as well, but understanding where a child is developmentally is critical. The Head Start Early Outcomes Framework, or the ELOF, is a great supportive tool for home visitors and families as they support learning opportunities and expectations during those transitions.
Adriana: Very right, Roselia. We know that the ELOF is such an important tool that helps us in many ways, and it describes children's development of skills, concepts, and behaviors over time. Consider how the specific skills and concepts in the various domains play a role during transitions. Let's take a deeper dive into how home visitors can use the ELOF information and resources to support families during home visits and socializations.
Roselia: Absolutely. You know, sharing information and general interest and knowing about children and families helps home visitors to build relationships and support positive parenting and parent-child relationships. The ELOF can support information sharing with families and navigate discussions around transitions and how children manage change.
Melisa: Yes, and now let's consider what this means for families and home visitors. Families can use the ELOF to promote children's development and learning while also learning about their own – while also expanding their own knowledge about child development and school readiness. An example of this would be home visitors using the ELOF@Home app to share information and strategies on how the families can use everyday routines, interactions that not only foster strong relationships but that are connected to the developmental progression.
Roselia: Right, and then the ELOF – it also helps parents and families to understand and support their child's learning as well as to understand what is developmentally appropriate in terms of how children experience transition and how adults can best support them.
Melisa: Absolutely, Roselia, and, using the ELOF as their guide, home visitors cannot only support families, but they can help families work collaboratively to set goals for their child and for themselves. The ELOF can support establishing learning goals and transition activities that are grounded in child development. Ultimately, the ELOF can support the home visitors to explain to the families the "why" behind how they engage with and support their child's learning.
Roselia: To supplement what we've been discussing and how the ELOF can support home visitors and families, we wanted to highlight this brief, as well, "Early Educators Partnering with Families.” This brief highlights a three-step approach to partnering with families to support children's learning. Let's take a look at the "Learn, Share, Plan" approach to partnering with families to support children's learning. Adriana, can you highlight this three-step approach for us?
Adriana: Yes, of course, Roselia. Home visitors and families can have connections between home and socialization or school settings that support children through big and small transitions. This three-step process highlighted in this resource can support making transition successful for children and families. Learn – learning about and connecting with children and families are the essential first steps in creating some transitions that children and families move into and out of different settings. Share – sharing information with families and children about what to expect can help them build a sense of familiarity and confidence and decrease their concern. Providing information and materials about useful resources can reassure families that there are supports available in their community they can connect to. And plan – families are their children's most important educators and advocates. This is why it is essential to plan with families for home visits, socializations, and transitions. Planning should always be a collaborative conversation between focusing on supporting the child and depending on the program policies and family schedule, transition planning with families can consist of informal discussions, a written plan, or both.
Roselia: Right. Well, thanks, Adriana. Ladies, we have covered a good amount of information at this point. It seems like a great place to pause and to have another moment for reflection. We know that the ELOF is a great resource and that there are many creative ways to make use of it, so let's reflect on this for a moment. Are there any additional ways that you can think of that the ELOF can support staff, families, and children during transition? In your participants' guide, we invite you to write down some things that come to mind.
Alright, welcome back from our reflection moment. Before we move forward, we want to summarize what we've been discussing so far. We've explored some ways in which children and families experience transitions, and we took a dive into sharing some strategies on how the ELOF can support these transitions from a lens of using child development as a guide. We learned from research that more transition practices will lead to better adjustment, and this is accomplished through preparation, skill, and development, as well as practice. Finally, we highlighted the "Learn, Share, Plan" approach to supporting smooth transitions. What do we have next, Adriana?
Adriana: Well, as home visitors, we really do know a lot about how to facilitate effective transitions. I mean, we do it every day. Over the course of this past year, home visitors have supported families through some unique transitions, both big and small. We know that you continue to maintain relationships and support families with transitions that are still taking place. Let's spend some time exploring some of the big transitions specific to early childhood settings and how you can continue to support families.
Roselia: Transitions in early childhood settings include moving from home to an infant-toddler or preschool setting, infant-toddlers moving into a preschool program, transitions within these settings, like those that happen during socialization, and moving from preschool into kindergarten and then into elementary school settings. As home visitors, we can experience supporting the child and the family through any one of these transitions. It is important to remember that transition impacts the entire family and that this can be exciting but yet also a time of uncertainty and a time for concern. Though we see in-person services in these images, we need to acknowledge that when services are being delivered virtually or as a combination of in-person and virtual, that these big transitions are still happening, and both families and children need support.
Adriana: Yes, and home visitors can offer support and guidance to help families feel secure and ready to make the move to a new setting. We have that unique opportunity as home visitors to develop a strong relationship with families, and we know that this relationship will support a transition process. It is important to know that families' transition experiences might be influenced by their actual needs, culture, languages, and backgrounds. Each level of development influences how children experience transitions, and we must remember that each child is unique and may respond differently.
Roselia: Absolutely. Those are all very important points, Adriana, which is a nice leading into the next resource that we want to highlight: "Early Childhood Transitions: Supporting Children and Families," which offers information and strategies that home visitors can use to learn about the importance of supporting children and families during transitions. This is also a great resource to spark thinking and conversation about the transitions that we're currently experiencing, as well as future transitions as programs continue to shift and adjust their service-delivery methods. In addition, the resource provides specific strategies to support and help families feel secure and ready to make the move to a new setting. These strategies include communication and collaboration, continuity, family leadership and advocacy, and professional development and continuous improvement. Melisa, would you share with us some examples of how you might use this resource in your work?
Adriana: Sure, Roselia. Transitions will be most successful when families and professionals share a collaborative approach to smooth transitions. Here is where the "Learn, Share, Plan" process we talked about earlier can help again. This three-step process brings together opportunities for discussing ideas, planning activities, and deciding what action steps to take together. Here are some ways how home visitors can help. First, is to learn from families about their unique needs, emotions, and their situations, as well as ask families what they anticipate, what they look forward to, and what they worry about. Next, home visitors can create occasions for families to share their children's transition with each other. For instance, they can plan a socialization that is focused on transitioning to a new program or to kindergarten. You can offer this in a smaller group for just those families so that they can really focus on supporting each other by sharing their experiences – perhaps with older siblings – and learn from one another. Home visitors can also partner with families to plan time for them to meet their new teacher – if they are transitioning to group care or to kindergarten, this could be done virtually or in person – as well as visit the classroom, if possible. Home visitors can also work with the families to plan fun and meaningful activities for transitioning with a program, such as creating a memory book, going on an adventure to drive, or walk by the program and visit the new classroom – again, if this is possible – or asking older children to share their stories about school.
Adriana: Well, yes, and, as mentioned previously, all children need support to manage big and small transitions. Children with disabilities or special health care needs may need additional support in coordination of services to effectively manage transitions. This is a great time to share a video clip with the Connect Modules in the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children that highlights what you have been talking about. Let's watch this short video about coordinating services for transitions. In the video, a parent shares their experience with transitions from home to program and coordination of services.
[Up-tempo music plays]
Man: Welcome to the "Foundations of Transition for Young Children.” Today, most families of young children move between different types of early childhood services, like Head Start, private child care, public preschool, or kindergarten. For example, Jenny is receiving early intervention services, and her parents are planning for her to attend Head Start when she turns 3. Families and providers across programs need to talk and work together to plan for these transitions. This is important for all children, but for children with disabilities, these transitions can be more involved and complicated. They often need more coordination among providers so that everyone can support the child's special needs. Now let's listen to Andre Miguel, father of Alaina, to hear his perspective on why transition planning is so important.
Andre Miguel: My daughter, Alaina, received early intervention services since she was about 3 months old due to her hearing loss diagnosis. Our service coordinator and teacher of the deaf were with us through some of the most important moments of Alaina's life, from receiving her first hearing aids, undergoing surgery for cochlear implants, and activating her cochlear implants for the first time. We saw a tremendous amount of progress in Alaina's ability to perceive and express language in the three years of early intervention. We were incredibly nervous about how we could transition away from these service providers when Alaina turned 3. Transitioning away from services in our home, where we participated in the therapies to school-based services, was different and a little bit scary. We felt like we didn't have strong relationships and these new teachers wouldn't understand Alaina the way our early intervention providers did. Some parents talk about is falling off a cliff – going from solid ground to who knows what – but having people to help – people from early intervention and from the new program – can make all the difference in making the change a good one.
Melisa: This is a great video that shares the important of coordinating services. It also highlights what we discussed about communication and collaboration. The next strategy here highlights the importance of consistent learning experiences and expectation among care and learning settings. This continuity is an important part of transitions for children and families. Home visitors can provide guidance and reassurance to children and families as their environment activities, learning expectations, and routines change. They can support the families to think through potential transitions and plan supports for children's need. Home visitors can also demonstrate this planning in the way that they partner with families to think through how to handle transitions and plan supports to meet their own needs. The other thing here is that when we also have family leadership and advocacy in some home visiting, we know that home visitors follow the lead of families, and this is the same when it comes to transitions. Transitions are most successful when families are engaged in planning and the decision-making. Home visitors can encourage families to share information about their child's strengths as well as their challenges as they move to these new settings. They can also create opportunities for open discussions about the difference in the settings and also be responsive to families by listening to concerns, providing information to them, and offering help when requested. Reflecting with families about how they might apply leadership and advocacy skills in a new setting is a great way to empower families and support their confidence as they move through these changes.
Adriana: Thank you, Melisa. We have just a few additional resources home visitors can use to support families through big transitions. The first is "Making the Move Together: Transitions During Uncertain Times" – was developed to support transitions from home back to Head Start programs for reopening. This resource contains tips that home visitors can share with parents to prepare them for in-person socializations or maybe even the family will be – if the family will be transitioning to a different early care and education setting.
This concludes the time we have together today. We encourage you to visit the MyPeers community to continue the conversation, as always. Roselia and Melisa and I look forward to engaging with you there. Thank you for joining us today, and we also want to send a thank you to Melisa that helped us today and for sharing her expertise and knowledge. We hope that she can join us in the future sessions. Thank you, and have a great day.Close
Children and families experience transitions throughout each day. Learning how to manage change requires preparation, skill, and practice. As children and families develop skills to experience and master daily transitions, they are better prepared to cope with big changes. This may be especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Home Visiting Series webinar explores how to support families in using intentional transitions as opportunities to facilitate learning experiences and meet children’s individual developmental needs. Discover strategies and resources to effectively support the management of transitions.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will soon be broadcast live, visit the Upcoming Events section.