Transition to Kindergarten
Resources for Parents and Educators
These resources are from a variety of states and sources. They are offered to provide ideas and a springboard for prekindergarten programs and elementary schools to help provide support to both children and families during the transition from prekindergarten to kindergarten. The Office of Early Learning does not endorse any particular plan.
Transition to Kindergarten – Head Start: An Office of the Administration for Children and Families Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. This web page includes videos (Transitions from the children’s perspective; Transitions: A community perspective on transitioning into kindergarten), a variety of planning resources and partnerships.
Get Ready to Read! Transitioning to Kindergarten Toolkit – This website has information about the importance of preparing children for the transition, screening for kindergarten and preparing parents. Materials are available online and can also be downloaded.
A Parent’s Guide to a Successful Kindergarten Transition (PDF - 170 KB) – National Education Association, 2005. Informational brochure for families about successful strategies to transition children from preschool to kindergarten.
Paving the Way to Kindergarten for Young Children with Disabilities – Amanda Fenlon, 2005. Entering kindergarten can be a joyful but anxious time, particularly for parents of children with disabilities. These best practices can help make for a smoother transition: using a collaborative team approach to involve families, setting transition goals, and focusing on the needs and strengths of individual children.
Ready for Success: Creating Collaborative and Thoughtful Transitions into Kindergarten – Christine Patton and Justina Wang, September 2012. This outlines how to help make the transition into kindergarten a positive experience that will serve as a foundation to help children reach their full potential throughout their school years. This includes promising practices from the state and local levels and recommendations to policymakers.
A New Approach to Transitions: Welcoming Families and Their Ideas Into Kindergarten Classrooms – Ken Smythe-Leistico, March 2012. The Ready Freddy model defines quality kindergarten transition as activities and interactions that welcome families and children into kindergarten, help children get ready to learn in a formal setting, reduce anxiety, increase on-time enrollment and attendance, foster parent involvement and create continuity of learning between home and school. There are links to the Ready Freddy website and additional materials and resources.
Resource Guide for Early Childhood Transitions: Annotated Bibliography – Harvard Family Research Project, Briana Chan, September 2011. This resource provides a selected listing of journal articles, research briefs and reports that focus on early childhood transitions and school readiness. They cover a variety of topics central to early childhood transitions, including family engagement and home–school and program–school partnerships.
Kindergarten Home Visit Project – Amy Schulting, January 2011. Home visiting gives families and schools the opportunity to build a positive foundation for future communication. Teachers and school leaders looking for ways to improve home-school connections should consider the positive potential of visiting the home. The Kindergarten Home Visit Project encourages families and educators to communicate well before the first day of school to help children succeed during this important transition.
Family Support Services Promote School Readiness – Shari Golan, Dona Spiker, Carl Sumi, December 2005. To ensure California's children are ready to succeed in school and life by the time they enter kindergarten, First 5 California launched the School Readiness Initiative in 2001. The SR Initiative targets high-priority schools that serve communities with high levels of poverty and ethnic diversity. Efforts have focused on improving family functioning, health, systems of care and child development.