Transition is an ongoing process to ensure that children and families will have appropriate information and support whenever there is a change in their child’s placement. Transition activities may occur when children enter Head Start, change placements within Head Start, go to another preschool placement, or on to kindergarten. Transition is a process that must be planned by the child’s current Direct Service Team and communicated to all collaborating parties, including the family, the receiving placement team and any other community agency involved in the child and/or families’ life.
Procedures will be followed to ensure a smooth transition of information between current and future placements. Parent involvement will be encouraged throughout the process, as they are the primary advocates for their children. Head Start staff will work together to compile all necessary information to assist in a smooth transition of records to the child’s new placement. (642A(a)(1)


Transition to Kindergarten

  • Each Regional Manager (RM), and Direct Service Team (DST), will follow the agency transition plan and add site specific details for their classrooms by the end of October. A copy will be kept available at the site and a copy will be sent to the Education/Disabilities Consultant. This plan will focus on Transition to Kindergarten and could include, but not be limited to, the following type of activities:
    • Visits to Neighborhood schools and Kindergarten classes:
    • Family activity events to discuss:
      • District time lines for school transfer requests, school visitations, etc.
      • Parent role in the transition process
      • Documents needed to enroll a child into kindergarten
    • Joint activities with the nearest neighborhood public school throughout the year:
      • Visit the neighborhood school library, cafeteria, kindergarten rooms, etc.
      • Get copies of the school newsletter and share information with parents about school events that include the public (carnivals, book fairs, etc.)
  • The ERSEA department will update the school the “Child Will Transition To” in the Application domain of Child Plus when processing the child’s application. ERSEA staff will also open the Transition to Kindergarten event in the Education domain to note the elementary school the child will transition to and how the information was gathered. The Regional Assistant will update the transition information at intake if needed and Educational staff will keep this section updated through the year.
  • The Education/Disabilities team will send a copy of the appropriate transition report from Child Plus to the relevant local school by the end of January in accordance with any current transition agreements or plans.
  • The Education/Disabilities and Family Engagement teams will provide information and training to staff as needed to support family engagement in transition to kindergarten.
    • How to access kindergarten program information in the public and private arena.
    • Encouraging parents to seek out information on the different kindergarten choices and to be their child’s advocate.
  • Each transitioning family will receive a copy of their child’s immunization record by request only.
  • The Education/Disabilities team will meet throughout the year with school districts that have a Transition Team.
    • To develop transition plans for ECSE children as well as typically developing children.
    • To encourage a cooperative exchange of information concerning child records and individual child transition planning meetings.
    • To encourage a cooperative exchange of information concerning child records and individual child transition planning meetings.

Transition Summaries

  • Transition Summaries are the primary tool for sharing information about the child’s growth and development. The focal teacher, with assistance from the team and outside consultants, will complete a transition summary for all children going on to kindergarten or another preschool placement. These will be completed prior to the spring Parent/Teacher conference or before the child leaves the program.
  • These documents will be completed in a professional and objective manner, using information from the Developmental Assessment Tool and Child Plus. They will be documented in Child Plus in the Education Domain under the Transition to Kindergarten form tab.
  • Transition Summaries are shared with the Regional Manager for approval before they are shared with parents or sent to other agencies or school districts.
  • If parents ask they will have an opportunity to read and edit the summary before it is sent to the kindergarten program.
  • The Transition Summary will have an assessment report attached to it.
    • One copy will be sent to the appropriate school or district office.
      • Teachers will turn in transition packets to the regional office.
      • On the last Friday of the part-day program, each region will turn in all of the transition packets to the Education-Disabilities team sorted by neighborhood school and school district.
  • Transition summary packets will be sent out to Kindergarten programs during the month of June. Each school will receive a list of children that will be transitioning to their school.

Transition Within Head Start – Transfer

A change in setting is a transition in the child’s life and needs to be treated accordingly.

When staff becomes aware of a family’s need to transfer to a different Head Start site or model, the following will occur:

  • For Part Day slots–The current direct service team (DST) will inform the current Regional Assistant (RA) of the need for transfer. The RA will note such in Child Plus under Enrollment and update the preferred site under “Manage Location Preferences.”
  • Determine if the family will continue to attend class at the current site until an opening becomes available in the desired location.
  • If the family is interested in a full day slot. RA will note in Child Plus under Enrollment domain in Enrollment Notes:
    • The current RA will notify the Full Day RA and ERSEA Manager.
    • The Full Day RA will discuss full day eligibility and the financial details with the family. The Full Day RA will then check in with either the ERSEA Manager or Full Day RM to confirm eligibility.
    • Full day RA will document the family’s eligibility in Child Plus under the Enrollment Domain in Enrollment Notes.
  • The current RA will notify the current classroom staff and the Regional Manager (RM) of the plan to transfer and the possible time line.
  • When an opening becomes available at the other site, the receiving RA will contact the current RA/RM prior to talking with the family. The family will then be contacted to determine if they choose to accept the slot. The discussion with the family will include:
    • Need for transportation (part day only)
    • Availability of transportation
  • If the family accepts the opening, additional discussion will include:
    • Special dietary needs
    • Special health needs
    • Any other special needs or accommodations
    • A potential date/time to visit the new classroom
    • A possible timeline for the transfer to occur
    • NOTE: Sufficient time must be allowed for food service and health staff to make the necessary changes in food ordering and for the transfer of necessary medications and health aids. Receiving teachers will also need time to prepare to receive the child. EC-CARES and other agencies may need additional time to complete their transfer of information.
  • The receiving RA will notify the current RA that the family has accepted a placement.
  • The receiving RA will notify the receiving classroom staff of the new family.
  • If needed, receiving and current classroom teams and support staff will meet to discuss child and family transition needs.
  • The current classroom staff will notify any agencies (e.g., EC-CARES, Direction Services, DHS) providing services or otherwise involved with child of the potential transfer.
  • The current classroom staff will:
    • Complete all appropriate updates in Child Plus and My Teaching Strategies within seven (7) calendar days (including the last attendance day at the site).
    • If possible, arrange a “good-bye day” in the current classroom
  • The receiving classroom staff will contact the family as needed.

Policy Council approved November 9, 2004. February 6, 2007.
This complies with Head Start Performance Standards 45 CFR Section1304.21; 1304.40(h1-4); 1308.19; 1308.21; 1304.20(f); 1304.41(c)
Updated August 2006. January 2007. June 2008, September 2009. August 2013