Transition to Preschool

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


Alert! Alert! 
Because NICHCY’s website will only remain online until September 30, 2014, most of its rich content has moved to a new home, the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR), where it can be kept up to date. 

The new address of Transition to Preschool at the CPIR is:


September 2010
Resources updated, August 2012

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 NECTAC publication, which contains information on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) of IDEA. Information supplied by the coordinators of state and jurisdictional Section 619 programs updates the following content areas: program administration, funding, and education reform; charter and private schools; interagency coordination; personnel; transition; programming; accreditation and monitoring; performance outcomes; public awareness; IEPs, IFSPs, and family-centered services; state preschool program data from; and contact information for state and jurisdictional program coordinators.

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.

Pull a thread and find a minibibliography.
Transitions From Infant Toddler Services to Preschool Education – Minibibliography is available online from NECTAC, the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. This annotated bibliography presents resources related to transition from infant-toddler services to preschool education. 2005, 8 pages.

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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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to