Transition to Kindergarten

Transition to Kindergarten

The Role of Early Childhood Programs

Early childhood programs act as the bridge between preschool and kindergarten and are an essential resource for families preparing to navigate this transition. In addition to several sections below, here are suggestions to help your program implement practices to ensure families have the information they need and that children are ready for this big transition. The most important thing is that children who believe in their own abilities have been found to be more successful in school. 

Meeting with parents:

  • Address their concerns as best you can, empower the parents to act as advocates for their children
  • Remind parents that they play a critical role in this transition.

Resources to provide:

  • District information and upcoming orientation dates (see links below) 
  • Community events (Alliance for Kids shares these on Facebook – call us if you need details.)
  • Provide families a summary of their child in a school setting to take to the new teacher (e.g., child’s strengths, areas of improvement, known triggers – both positive and negative)

Tips for discussing kindergarten with families and children:

  • Never talk negatively about moving to kindergarten
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Encourage the children’s excitement
  • Allow children to express their feelings
  • Share examples of how kindergarten is the same and how it is different from preschool

Activities to encourage readiness:

  • Create tools children can use when missing their family (e.g., a laminated photo of their family,  or a book with pictures, a book of emotions, photo of the children the child may know in the class)
  • Focus on self-help skills with the children so children are set up to be as independent as possible
  • Try to take several tours of the “new school” or encourage parents to visit their options in person
  • Ask to share parent contact information with other parents going to the same schools
  • Encourage parents to set up play dates and get to know other families

Articles on Kindergarten Transition to share with families:

FamilySPEAK Offers Kindergarten Transition Resources

Alliance for Kids has a separate website especially for families and we invite you to share this site with the families of children in your care! In addition to kindergarten transition information, below are some of the many topics families can find on our site:

Kindergarten Registration Dates for 2020-21

Children in your programs may be attending school in different school districts. For information about kindergarten registration dates for the 2019-2020 school year, parents may wish to contact school districts directly. Below are links to the registration page for each school district.

Books about Transitioning to Kindergarten

Read books together about moving on to kindergarten can help prepare children for the next step in their education:

 

The Benefits of Kindness

Learn more about the benefits of incorporating kindness into your program:

Child Development Skills

Information about child skills development: Early Learning and Development Guidelines