Kleines Kinderhaus
Child Care
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This month Topic: Transitions for the Child

What is transitioning?  

Transitioning is the switch from home, preschool, child care or any other facility to kindergarten. Transitioning from preschool to kindergarten is the most crucial, important and overlooked area in early childhood education. Here are some tips that will help for the transition process.


Why? The transitioning from Preschool to Kindergarten is a critical time for your children’s further academic success and development. Children change from one stable setting they knew to another, with which they are not familiar at all. They face changes like a new big building, new and more children, a new teacher and friends, fast paced curriculum and higher academic standards. They have difficulties adjusting to  the new classrooms where the rules, routines, atmosphere, or philosophy and learning style may differ dramatically from the preschool and child care settings they attended before.

The transitioning to kindergarten has a big impact on the child’s further development and this is the most over  looked area in early childhood education.  Therefore it is important to know different strategies beforehand   to make the entrance to Kindergarten as smooth as possible. Parent’s involvement plays a big role.

That is why we as the parents, and child care provider need to help the child to become familiar with all the    new circumstances to make the transition to Kindergarten or other places, easier for the child.

Transition Time Line for Prekindergarten to Kindergarten

September - November (the year before Kindergarten)

         Find out what kindergarten program are available in your community

         Request an enrollment package from the Kindergarten

         Visit a classroom to see if you like their teaching style and setting

         Find out what their application and admission policies are

         decide to go private or public?

January - March

         Find out when to register your child

         Find out if any additional admissions are required

         Schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to make sure that his or her immunizations   and health screenings are up-to-date

April –June:

         Start talking to your child about school

         Point out the building when driving by

         Stay positive and excited when you talk about school (e.g. fun projects in kindergarten, etc.)


         Visit school with your child (open house or arrange with school) to see the building layout and where the cafeteria, bathroom, classroom, coat hanger, library, etc. are

         Sign up for summer camp if your school offers it

         Meet other classmates for a play date (ask school for class list)

         Have teacher visit your home to meet child and family

         Review school police to see what they offer for transitioning

         Read books about kindergarten to familiarize the concept of kindergarten

         Walk by the school and play on their playground  and peek through the windows


         Adjust sleeping schedule

         Get to know the bus route and other students to have them walk and sit together on the bus

         If school offers practice trip with school bus take advantage of that


         Go shopping for clothes and school supplies, involve your child and let the child pick – this give him the sense of some control

         Label all your child’s supplies (back pack, folders, Blocks,) ask your child to help

         Find out how you can become involved in your child’s classroom, school committees, and the PTA.

Day before school

•         Have your child write or draw a picture for the teacher

         Lay out all school supplies and clothes for Day 1

What should I know about transitioning a preschooler with special needs? 

If your child has special needs, you

may have additional decisions to

make about the length of your

child’s school day, different school

sites, or program types. It is

important to begin working with

the school team as early as possible

so that everyone, especially your

child, feels comfortable with all the

changes that will occur. For incoming

kindergartners with special needs,

the federal special education law

(i.e., the Individuals with Disabilities

Education Act) allows the school

team to develop either an Individual

Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an

Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Book Reference about transitioning


Corduroy Goes to School by Don Freeman
Prepare for preschool with a lift-the-flap tale starring a favorite bear.

Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
Calm starting-school anxieties with this laugh-out-loud tale about a girl trying to "cram" for kindergarten.

Don't Eat the Teacher by Nick Ward
Nibble away at first-day jitters with a humorous look at what NOT to do in school.

I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas
School is a breeze when a mother's love is there to see you through it.

I See a Leaf by Grace Maccarone
Laugh at how first-day gifts to the teacher get a little out of control — then try activities that help strengthen school skills.

It's Time for School, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
See how a savvy mom  responds to her son's increasingly silly "what ifs" about school.

Little Miss Spider at Sunny Patch School by David Kirk
Go bug-eyed for these eye-catching arachnid antics.

Little Rabbit Goes to School by Harry Horse
A beloved wooden toy runs amok on the first day of school. But will Little Rabbit want to leave it at home?

 Miss Bindergarten gets ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
Prepare for a new year with a rhyming romp starring animal schoolchildren from A to Z.

My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
Artfully depicted, this story of a Korean immigrant's adjustment to school will resonate with all kids entering an unfamiliar place.

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