Is your child starting preschool?

During transitions, children often need a little extra time, attention and support from their parents. School transitions also signal a new stage of family life for everyone.

Children may feel...

  • Sadness at the loss of the old school, friends, neighborhood (and if a preschooler or kindergartner, separation from parents)
  • Anxiety about the unknown
  • Fear of not making friends, being accepted.
  • Apprehension about their ability to do the work or master the logistics involved (getting lost, getting lunch, learning the rules, finding the bathrooms, etc.).

Parents may feel...

  • Sadness about their child growing up and moving on to the next stage
  • Anxiety about whether the new school and/or teacher are the best for their child.
  • Uncertainty about what their own role should be in the new setting and how the new school views parent involvement.
Awareness that their child's growing up is linked to a new stage of life for parents too and that family life will change.

Making a smooth transition…

  • If the school has scheduled an open house, orientation, welcome day or other opportunities for parents and/or children to get acquainted, make a special effort to attend.
  • Take the time to talk. Ask your child what he would like to know about the new school. Write down the questions and find out the answers.
  • Take the time to visit the school. You may want to call ahead to get an appointment or get permission for you and your child to take a self-tour of the building. Talk about what will happen during a typical day. Go through the schedule with your child.                                                        
Transition In/Out Early Head Start:
Transition Into the EHS Program - The ERSEA, Family Service Worker, Education Center Coordinator, and Center staff ensure children and parents have a smooth transition in the delivery of services as the children move in and out of the PCI Early Head Start and Head Start Programs. We encourage families to be involved in their children's learning and development and to support the lifelong success of their child. When a child is transitioning into the Early Head Start program, the parent is given an orientation of the program requirements. Parents are invited to spend the day at one of the Early Head Start sites to observe what a typical day entails. A briefing conference is held with Parent, Teacher, Family Service Worker, and Education Center Coordinator.  Parents receive brochures and pamphlets about the program.
Transitioning Out of EHS Program: Six months prior to the child’s third birthday, the Education Center Coordinator and Family Service Worker meets with the parents to develop a transition plan to have the child enrolled into either a Head Start Program (if slots are available) or other educational programs that have available slots. A checklist with specific steps for transitioning is reviewed with the parent and used as a guide for the program to ensure adherence to the process.  The Family Service Worker assists parents in completing the application process for transitioning their child into the Head Start Program or a program of their choice. Parents are encouraged to take the child to visit the new center thirty days prior to exiting the EHS. In order to provide continuity of care, the Family Service Worker will serve as the contact between the parent and the Education Center Coordinator of the new Head Start placement.
Your Child’s Routine in a Head Start Program Classroom: Classroom time includes many different activities. Some teachers begin the day by asking the children to sit in a circle. This encourages the children to talk about an idea or experience they want to share with others. During learning center time the teacher plans and sets the stage for learning. The children may choose among art, playing with blocks or table toys, science activities, dancing to music, looking at books, or pretend housekeeping and various other learning centers. Children can choose activities if they prefer another challenge. Each day, they have time to work in a small group with other children and to play outdoors on safe playground equipment. Nutritious meals are served for breakfast, lunch, and snack. Children are encouraged to brush their teeth at least one time during the day. All the children are taught to wash their hands before meals and are encouraged to develop good personal and health habits. Personal hygiene habits are taught in the classroom and help your child to develop good hygiene skills for school and lower the risk of illnesses.