The benefits of early childhood programs can be diminished if there is not careful consideration of the issue of transitioning children from one classroom to another, from one type of program to another (such as prekindergarten to primary), or from one school to another. Teachers who will be sending children to another program or grade level need opportunities to communicate with the teacher who will be receiving the children. A procedure needs to be established for determining what information is appropriate and necessary to pass on.
Time also must be available for parents and children to learn about the similarities and differences between the programs. Arrangements need to be made for parents and children to visit the new classrooms so they can see the new environments and identify people within those environments who will be available to them.
The more closely programs adhere to best practices in areas of teacher selection, environment, scheduling, and curriculum, the easier it will be for children and families to make the transition. According to Lombardi (1992), important practices that influence the ease of transition are continuity in developmentally appropriate practices, parent involvement, and support services for children and families.
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