What is Transition and How Does it Impact my Child’s Ability to Learn

We are going to use the acronym TRUST to discuss 5 things you can do to help prepare a child for an upcoming transition.

[ms_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”10″ class=”” id=””]T[/ms_dropcap] Transitions should be planned

  • Plan ahead
  • Effective transition planning includes: BEFORE, DURING and AFTER strategies

[ms_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”10″ class=”” id=””]R[/ms_dropcap] Routines are key

  • Establish daily routines at home
    • Make it easier to adjust to program/school routines
    • Routines give children a sense of organization, stability, predictability, comfort, security and establish boundaries.  Children living in homes that lack routines may find it more difficult to adjust to school life which is full of routines.
  • Part of planning for transition involves identifying routines that will need to change (e.g., bedtime/wake-up times, breakfast routine, etc.) and making those changes in advance.
  • Begin new routines
    • Transition planning may also involve starting some new routines that will provide some continuity such as letting your child begin to help pacing a lunch and/or laying out clothes to wear the next day.
    • You and the child might find it helpful to make a chart illustrated with photographs or pictures that depict the new schedule.

Add picture schedule picture

[ms_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”10″ class=”” id=””]U[/ms_dropcap] U set the example

  • Be positive, excited. enthusiastic
  • Plan the “good-bye” on the first day

[ms_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”10″ class=”” id=””]S[/ms_dropcap] Schedule visits to the new environment

  • Visit new program/classroom
  • Meet teacher/classmates
  • Take pictures and make a book
  • Share information about the child

[ms_dropcap color=”” boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”10″ class=”” id=””]T[/ms_dropcap] Talk with the child about how he/she feels

  • Teach children to recognize and label their emotions
  • Use questions to encourage children to express emotions about upcoming transitions
  • Read books about going to childcare, preschool, kindergarten

[ms_divider style=”dashed” align=”left” width=”100%” margin_top=”30″ margin_bottom=”30″ border_size=”5″ border_color=”#f2f2f2″ icon=”” class=”” id=””][/ms_divider]

During and After Transition


  • Maintain communication between school and home
  • Ask questions
  • Talk with other families
  • Attend events, meetings
  • Link with family resource groups
  • Give input about your child
  • Keep a developmental journal


  • Check on child’s adjustment
  • Work together with teacher to solve problems
  • Know chain of command
  • Ask for consistent feedback on child’s progress
  • Go to meetings
  • Access other resources if needed
  • Understand rights and responsibilities