Transition to school: Information for early childhood education and care services

Find out more about how early childhood education and care (ECEC) services can support children’s transition to school.

What do high-quality transition practices look like?

High-quality transition to school programs require strong relationships and collaborative planning between families, ECEC services, schools and communities to ensure children feel a sense of belonging in their new school community.

Early childhood teachers and educators play a key role in bringing these groups together to establish transition practices that best meet the needs of each individual child and contribute to their sense of belonging.

There are 4 key principles you should incorporate in high-quality transitions practice (adapted from Dockett, S. & Perry, B. (2014). Continuity of Learning: A resource to support effective transition to school and school age care. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Department of Education):

  • Plan in collaboration with families and early intervention professionals when needed.
  • Create social stories in various languages or formats to show the child what school looks like, how they will get to school, and who their teacher is.

Relationships are the core of successful transitions, and connecting with local schools will support high-quality transition practices. This can be achieved in 2 ways.

Asking questions of your local schools

  • Is there a school-level transition planning team in place?
  • Are there photos and videos of the classroom environment, or social stories, that you can share with children and families?
  • When do you prefer receiving Transition to School Digital Statements?
  • What virtual orientation activities can we plan together?

Building a positive relationship with the school’s onsite or local out of school hours care service (OSHC)

  • This will help the transition for children and families who need access to education and care beyond school hours.
  • Ask if they have any orientation materials to share.
  • Reach out to the OSHC service if available to help children access continuous care beyond the classroom.
  • Include useful teaching strategies within the Transition to School Statement for Kindergarten teachers that can be used in the classroom, such as removing overwhelming artwork and signs from walls, supporting an indoor/outdoor learning model for children, or breaking down individual tasks to smaller steps.
  • Seek feedback from schools and families to help reflect on your service’s current transitions practices. What works and what could be improved?
  • Reflect on the child’s learning to inform the Transition to School Digital Statement.

Transition to School Digital Statement

The Transition to School Digital Statement is an easy-to-use tool to help you implement these principles to ensure schools are ready for new Kindergarten students. The statement captures a child’s unique strengths, interests, and preferred ways of learning, and is shared with their new school.

It complements other transition activities such as school visits and ensures that the observations you make throughout the year will continue to support children by helping schools prepare for new students.

If your service receives Start Strong funding, a Transition to School Statement must be completed for children in the year before Kindergarten and shared with the child’s parents or carers and new school before the start of the school year.

Supporting children with disability and additional needs

Early, careful and flexible transition planning is critical for ensuring that children with additional learning and support needs are prepared to start school. Best practice involves collaborative planning between services and families, as well as allied health professionals where needed.

When completing a Transition to School Digital Statement for a child with disability or additional needs, consider what resources, tools or strategies their Kindergarten teacher should incorporate based on those that have proven to be effective in your service.

Resources for services

Resources to share with families


  • Early childhood education


  • Early Childhood Outcomes
  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood educators
  • Early childhood providers
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Web page

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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