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Transitions resources

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Last updated by Tara Fagan

National | International | Further reading


Early Childhood Education: ECE Educate - Transitions
This section features articles on transitions as they are experienced by young children:

The following articles have been prepared by leaders in early childhood education from Canterbury University. Each is shaped as a 'provocation' for the reader and includes reflective questions.

Meeting and greeting key part of the day at childcare

This NZ Herald article by Elizabeth Binning looks at how the first few moments of childcare - meet and greet - can help establish a sense of inclusiveness and connectedness for a child.

"In the first 30 seconds of coming into daycare children are looking for someone to connect with. They are asking, 'Am I on your radar, do you see me?' Australian child psychologist Dr Robyn Dolby, who says those first few moments can make a huge difference in the child's emotional wellbeing and in teaching them to understand and organise their feelings.'

Ministry of Education: Parents - Moving on to school

What can parents do to help prepare their child for school.

Transitions within the centre and to school

'Transitions Within the Centre and to School: Research at a Samoan-language Immersion Centre' is an article by Valerie N Podmore with Jan Taouma and the A'oga Fa'a Samoa (Round one COI).  This article was originally published in the Early Childhood Folio 8: 2004: 19-22.


Curriculum for Excellence: Pre-school into Primary Transitions (PDF 548KB)
This document sets out the context for transitions and delivers key messages from Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Pre-school into Primary Transitions Advisory Group.

Nine feature of the key principles: Transitions

One of the nine features of practice may be an effective way of supporting staff as they implement the four key principles.

Early Years Australia: School readiness and children's transitions
Print and online resources to assist in helping children make the transition from childcare to preschool, preschool to school.

Literature Review: Transition from Early Childhood Education to School
The review focused on:

  • what successful transitions to school look like
  • factors that play a role in how well children transition from ECE to school
  • the ways in which children can be supported by teachers and families to transition as successfully as possible.

NAEYC Teaching Young Children: Teaching and learning through routines and transitions (May 2008)

Full issue of the Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


Teaching Expertise: Early Years Update
Early Years Update
looks at ways of making transitions an enjoyable and exciting experience for children and parents.

Exchange Early Childhood Leaders: Helping Children Make Transitions (part 2)

Early Childhood Transitions Research: A Review of Concepts, Theory, and Practice


Further reading

  • Alton-Lee, A. (2003). Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best evidence synthesis. Wellington, Ministry of Education.
  • Biddulph, F., Biddulph, J. and Biddulph, C (2003). The complexity of community and family influences on children's achievement in New Zealand: Best evidence synthesis. Wellington, Ministry of Education.
  • Bulkeley, J., and Fabian, H. (2006). Well-being and belonging during early education transitions. International Journal of Transitions in Childhood, 2, 18-30.
  • Cullen, J. (1998). Emergent learners: Making the transition to school learning. Childrenz Issues, 2 (1), 30-33.
  • Dockett, S., and Perry, B. (1999). Starting school: what matters for children, parents and educators? Early Childhood and Care, 159, 107-119.
  • Dockett, S., and Perry, B. (2002). Who's ready for what? Young children starting school. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 3(1), 67-89.
  • Fabian, H. and Dunlop, A.W. (2007) (Eds.) Informing transitions in the early years; Research, policy and practice. London: McGraw-Hill.
  • Fabian, H. and Dunlop, A.W. (2002) (Eds.) Transitions in the early years: debating continuity and progression for children in early education. London: Routledge Falmer.
  • Farquhar, S. (2003). Quality teaching early foundations - Best evidence synthesis. Wellington, Childforum Research Network.
  • Howie, L. and Timplerley, H. (2001). Educators responsibilities for providing for effective transitions from early childhood centre to school. Paper presented at the Culture Informs Learning NZARE 2001 Conference, Christchurch.
  • Peters, S. (2002) Teachers perspectives of transition. In H. Fabian, and A. Dunlop (Eds.). Transitions in the Early Years (pp. 87-97). London: Routledge Falmer.
  • Peters, S. (2003). 'I didn't expect to get tons of friends… more each day'. Children's experiences of friendship during the transition to school. Early Years: Journal of International Research and Development, 23, 45-53.
  • Peters, S. (2003) Theoretical approaches to transition. Early Childhood Folio, 7, 9-13.
  • Peters, S. (2005). Making links between learning in early childhood education and school using the key competencies framework. Teachers and curriculum. 8, 9-15.
  • Timperley, H., McNaughton, S., Howie, L. and Robinson, V. (2003). Transitioning children from early childhood education to school: Teacher beliefs and transition practices. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 32(2), 32 – 38.