Transition to Preschool

Photo of a young Asian preschooler, holding hands in a line of children heading into preschool.

Kids grow fast, don’t they? And early intervention is designed for children from birth up to age three.  At that point, services under EI end. If the child will need continued support once he or she moves on to preschool, it’s very important to plan ahead so that the transition is smooth.  The resources below will help you do just that.


Out of EI and into preschool: What’s it all about?
Here’s a decent explanation, including why it’s important to plan for this transition; the benefits to children, families, and teachers of such planning; and the chief differences between the EI system and preschool service system in terms of child find, referral, evaluation, eligibility, family involvement, the type of plan that’s written and the services that are delivered.

Video: Foundations of Transition for Young Children
This 8-minute video from Project CONNECT gives an overview of the desirable outcomes of transition, research identifying effective transition practices, as well as the legal requirements of early childhood transition.

Who’s in charge of preschool services, and what are they doing?
Find out in this annual publication of the ECTA Center, which contains information on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) of IDEA.

Recommended transition-to-preschool practices
This paper from CLAS examines current transition practices within the context of culturally and linguistically diverse groups, highlighting the transition from early intervention services to preschool services. An overview of recommended practice indicators in EI/ECSE and ECE is presented.

Have you visited the center that’s looking only at what makes for effective transitions?
The National Early Childhood Transition Center (NECTC) is investigating and validating practices and strategies that enhance the early childhood transition process and support positive school outcomes for children with disabilities. Search NECTC’s transition literature database, tell your transition story, and keep track of NECTC’s emerging results and recommendations.

Visit the FACTS/LRE Project: Family and Child Transitions into Least Restrictive Environments

Need suggestions or insights into how to ease transitions to preschool services?

For parents whose child is transitioning out of early intervention into preschool services, you may find Planning Your Child’s Transition to Preschool: A Step-by-Step Guide for Families very helpful.

Be sure to see what’s available at ECTA

Special education services for preschoolers with disabilities
This page discusses what services are available for preschoolers who are experiencing developmental delays. Learn more about where families, childcare providers, and educators find help and support.

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