Transitions occur on a daily basis for families with young children. One of the earliest
transitions for most children is the transition after birth from hospital to home.
In the first few years of life, children may also move from the care of a parent to a
grandparent, or move into child care and between rooms within the child care centre. As
children become older they may make the transition to kindergarten, and most children
experience the transition to school.
Change is a key feature throughout each of these transition periods. Children need to feel
secure, confident and connected to people, places, events, routines and understandings
when they move into new environments.
What does effective transition look like?
A combination of approaches and processes is required to support effective transition,
which is achieved when:
•respectful, trusting and supportive relationships are maintained among all those
working with children and their families
•information about the children is well understood, shared and valued
•children have the opportunity to have their say about what is important to them
•processes are adapted in response to the local communities
•children and families who require additional support are identified early, and
support is planned and delivered through a collaborative approach.
Who is involved in transition processes?
Children, families and early childhood professionals are involved in the transitions
throughout early childhood. Successful transitions rely on children, families and early
childhood professionals developing positive, supportive relationships.
Children’s learning and development is advanced when they feel that the new environment
is a place where people care about them and where they can succeed. Families also need
to be valued and respected, as well as included in the new environment.
Children’s transitions are more successful when they are involved in planning transition
programs. It is important to listen to their perspectives.
Families are the most important people in children’s lives and play a central role in
supporting their learning. They must be involved in the transition process – it is not only
children who experience changes during periods of transition.
Early childhood professionals from different contexts also have a lot to contribute to
children’s transitions. They bring professional knowledge and experience about children’s
learning and development. By sharing this knowledge and experience, and working
in partnership with families, educators can recognise a child’s strengths and plan
appropriate learning and teaching programs.