Transition to Kindergarten
Transition refers to the totality of experiences and opportunities a child encounters in moving from one program or setting to another. Opportunities and experiences that familiarize children and families with new settings, expectations and relationships can help make connections that ease adjustments.
When transitions are effective they provide the supports children need to make these adjustments. When children make successful transitions they:
Enjoy school and look forward to going
Show steady growth in academic and social skills
Have families who are more actively engaged in their learning (Howard, 2010)
1. Transition to Kindergarten: Transition and Alignment Summit Guide: The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), ), in collaboration with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE), has developed resources that can be individualized to meet local needs. This guide provides information on statewide and regional summits on transition and alignment in early childhood.
2. Partnerships for Change: Listening to the Voices of Families: This video shows how one program effectively partners with families and local organizations to build a strong community. See how family well-being and children’s healthy development is rooted in a respect for culture, values and home language.
3. Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education: The toolkit defines family and community engagement as an overarching approach to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students’ ongoing learning and development. The primary audiences for this toolkit are administrators, teachers, teacher leaders, and trainers in diverse schools and districts.
4. Ready Freddy – Pathways to Kindergarten Success: This resource provides a variety of transition materials ranging from planning guides to outreach, attendance and family engagement toolkits.
- Family Engagement in Transitions: Transition to Kindergarten: This resource presents a summary of research, promising practices and program strategies to promote family engagement.
- Planning for Terrific Transitions: A Guide for Georgia Schools on Kindergarten Transition: This resource provides a school district perspective on developing district policies for school transition teams, activities and alignment to ensure that children have a successful transition into school and experience school success.
- Early Childhood Transitions: Supporting Children and Families: This resource provides information for early childhood professionals and programs in supporting families and children for successful transitions by setting action steps together.
- High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs Family Engagement Plan - Strategies in Action: This resource from the Texas Education Agency provides an example for developing a family engagement plan with ideas to support communication including transitioning to kindergarten.
- Practical Strategies for Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development: Easy-to-use guides are available from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) for teachers/caregivers and families providing hands-on ways to embed social emotional building activities into everyday routines.
- Fostering Healthy Social & Emotional Development in Young Children: Tips for Early Childhood Teachers and Providers: This resource provides tips intended to help early childhood teachers and providers support children’s social and emotional development — nurturing children’s ability to develop healthy relationships, manage challenges and realize their full potential.
- Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services: Experiencing deeply disturbing events or situations (i.e., trauma) can affect the way children learn, plan and interact with others. This guide provides leaders with information and resources on recent advances on understanding of trauma, toxic stress and executive functioning to support improved practice.
- Using Child Development as a Guide to Support Transition: This resource provides information on supporting communication between staff and families about how “transitions” may affect them and their children.
- Best Practices in Engaging Diverse Families: In the following report, Hanover Research examines literature and case studies on engaging diverse families in public, K12 settings. It focuses in particular on the experiences and needs of large, urban public school districts, and on the experiences and needs of African-American and Hispanic families.
A kindergarten-ready family encourages and celebrates developing skills in their young children. A key step in kindergarten readiness is learning about routines and schedules. A kindergarten-ready family learns about daily routines, the importance of respect for teachers and classmates and how to nurture children’s untold potential and readiness to learn. These resources are provided for families to ensure that your child starts kindergarten on the right foot and continues to thrive during the school year.
- Tips for Communication (English and Español): This one-pager lists age-appropriate activities to further develop your child’s speaking, listening and comprehension skills.
- Tips for Gross Motor (English and Español): This one-pager lists age-appropriate activities to further develop your child’s control over small body parts, such as hands and fingers. This is commonly referred to as fine motor skills and helps your child with everyday activities such as walking, jumping and standing.
- Tips for Fine Motor: This one-pager lists age-appropriate activities to further develop your child’s control over large body parts, such as arms and legs. This is commonly referred to as gross motor skills and helps your child with everyday activities such as eating, writing and drawing.
- Message in a Backpack: Saying Goodbye to Preschool and Hello to Kindergarten: This has a list of tips for parents to help their children feel more confident as they move from preschool to kindergarten
- Positive Parenting Tips preschoolers 3-5: List of developmental milestones for children 3 – 5 years is provided with tips for families to support your child’s learning at home.
- Successful Transitions to Kindergarten for At Risk Learners: This resource provides tips for a successful transition to kindergarten for families with young children who have struggled socially or academically during preschool.
- It’s Never Too Early to Help Children Roadmap (English and Español): This roadmap provides information about developmental milestones for children ages birth to five.
- How Families Promote Literacy (English and Español): This infographic includes seven ways families support literacy development for young children.
- Engaging Children at Mealtime: Studies confirm that eating dinner together as a family offers many benefits for children. This article gives families tips to engage their children in discussions and teach them social skills as well.
- Sesame Street Family Guide: Little Children Big Challenges: Sesame Street created this guide to support families in helping children develop resilience skills to face challenges that occur throughout the day.
- Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth (English and Español): This booklet is designed to help families understand what they can do to get their children off to the best start by using everyday interactions to teach the basic skills children will need to cooperate, get along with others and be enthusiastic learners.
- Practice Guides for Parents: The Center for Early Literacy Learning developed guides that can be used by families to provide their infants, toddlers or preschoolers fun and exciting literacy learning experiences and opportunities.
- Transitioning to Kindergarten: This site provides tips on what to expect and what families can do to make children’s transition to kindergarten a little easier. These resources will help families both get ready for the big change and give ideas for some activities families can try together before the new school year starts.
- Summer Transition Ideas: This site provides activities and ideas to engage children in everyday activities to support readiness for kindergarten while shopping, cooking, playing, etc.
Transitions: From the Children's Perspective: This video resource provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of children’s perspectives about kindergarten. Available in English and in Spanish.
Ready Freddy Calendar: This calendar provides fun activities for families to support children’s learning at home and preparing for kindergarten.
Get Ready for Kindergarten! Activity Calendar: This calendar provides activities to facilitate strong connections between families and schools while helping children prepare for kindergarten.
Preparing a School Ready Child: Infographic: This resource focuses on recommendations for supporting school-readiness efforts. Additionally, links to valuable evidence-based articles and resources are provided that stakeholders can use to realize these recommendations.
Teaching Your Child to Become Independent with Daily Routines: This resource provides tips for families to help children learn how to become more independent with daily routines.
Practical Strategies for Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development: Easy-to-use guides are available from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) for teachers/caregivers and families providing hands-on ways to embed social emotional building activities into everyday routines.
Milestones: Understanding Your Child’s Social and Emotional Development from Birth to Age 5: Social and emotional development affects how children experience the world, express themselves, manage their emotions and establish positive relationships with others. This resource provides information regarding milestones and related tips to support children.
Social and Emotional Learning: Strategies for Parents: There are many ways parents can encourage emotionally intelligent behavior in their children. Check out this guide to resources for learning more about character development.
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: This resource provides information and tools for families, teachers and administrators on the topic of supporting social and emotional learning.
Early Childhood Transitions: Supporting Children and Families: This resource for early childhood professionals provides information on offering support and guidance to help families feel secure and ready to make the move to a new setting. Strong relationships between professionals and families will likely help the transition experience.
Transition to Kindergarten: Preschool and Kindergarten Children's Perspective: This video resource provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of transitioning to kindergarten from the preschool and kindergarten children’s perspective. Outgoing kindergarten students give advice on how to manage the big step up from preschool.