The transition within and among early learning settings can be one of the most significant events that a young child experiences. Excitement, shock, fear, happiness, anxiety, surprise and a sense of being overwhelmed are a few of the emotions that a child might feel. Differences in class size, bathroom and building size, more structure and less freedom of movement, being away from home, a longer day, new staff and new children and less teacher attention can all cause a child to experience a variety of emotions. The transition to a new program or class and particularly to Kindergarten is a one-time event that takes careful advance preparation and planning in order to be a successful milestone for the child.
Transition refers to change. It is a dynamic process that is ongoing. It involves moving from one situation to another. All children will experience this change differently. Thoughtful and deliberate attention to this process by those who are directly involved can make this a positive experience for a young child and his/her family.
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning is pleased to provide this Transition Toolkit to strengthen connections among children, families, early learning programs and school districts in your community. The ideas and information presented in this toolkit have come from a review of national research and a statewide collection of successful transition practices. Research, information and tools have been selected to provide a springboard for additional learning in this area. This toolkit is not a comprehensive resource, but rather suggestions and strategies that can be adapted to meet the needs of all those involved in the transition process. Remember, transition is not a one-size-fits-all process or a once-and-done program. Effective transition is ongoing and carefully planned to meet the specific needs of each community and each child.
Effective transition practices are best planned locally, taking into consideration children’s cultural backgrounds and the multiple characteristics of the community. Stakeholders in the transition process are encouraged to intentionally plan for transitions within and among early learning settings by using the research and resources included.
***Additional resources related to TRANSTION are located at our Early Learning Professional Learning Community (PLC). This online community provides a forum for early childhood educators across the state to network and engage in discussion on various topics. To join, register at www.pdesas.org, access your teacher tools: my communities, and search "Early Learning."