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Early Years Transitions

General Principles

One of the greatest challenges for both families and practitioners is a young child's successful transition to a new experience.

All children experience points of transition throughout their lives from birth but those that take place in their youngest years are of particular importance and can affect how they learn and develop through their lives.

In Blackpool the aim of providing excellent quality services to young children is shared by all practitioners.  High quality experiences can be provided in a variety of settings - home, childminders, school, Children’s Centres, pre-schools and nurseries. As children develop they will move from one of these settings to the next on a journey that will go on for many years through their lives.

Transition not only affects children, it can also affect their parents and families who may need additional support and advice at these transitional times.  It is important that children and parents are listened to for effective partnerships to be developed and the needs of all to be understood and acted upon. It is also vitally important, both in terms of meeting children’s needs and meeting the requirements of the EYFS, that detailed information is gathered from parents about their child’s development and individual needs.  The ‘What to Expect, When’ guide is a useful tool to support discussions with parents about their child and gather information about where they are in terms of their development to support early planning to meet children’s needs.

Some transition times in education and care settings are often more easy to predict and to plan for. However, it must be remembered that transition should not be regarded as a point of transfer event that happens only at the beginning or end of given periods of time. Transitions should be seen as a gradual process to be supported for as long as is necessary, and information sharing between all involved should continue throughout.

When a child moves on within or between two different settings, their key person needs to collaborate on their child’s transition by passing on vital information and sharing perceptions about the child.  Early contact with children prior to admission and the retention of contact after transition is the ideal, and gives opportunities for information to be gained and followed-up on, in order to ensure as smooth a transition between rooms / settings as possible.  Whilst the Blackpool Transition Document was primarily designed to support information sharing at transition between preschool and Reception classes, it can be used to share information between settings at any stage.

All settings will have their own particular processes and tools to support transition for all children.  In addition to those, this document sets out additional processes and considerations for transitions for children with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities who are already accessing services/settings in Blackpool, and for transition from preschool provision into school Reception Classes.

 Last updated: 26 May 2020