Preschool to Primary

“There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” — Graham Green

The beginning of primary school, traditionally referred to as Kindergarten, represents the true beginning of formal education for all children and their families. This event can bring many uncertainties and worries for both children and adults. Entering the Primary Program is also a time of excitement and curiosity. With preparation, entrance to primary can be a time of adventure and fun.

Some issues to consider during this transition period are:

  • Common parent and child anxiety
  • Communication between school staff and parents (Guardians)
  • Parent/Guardians involvement at school
  • Child’s physical and mental health
  • Change in roles, routines and expectations of child and family
  • Social/Emotional developmental level of child
  • Support services required, community resources and service coordination
  • Transportation
Family Involvement

Preparing for entry level primary or kindergarten can be a challenge for families and children. Each parent/guardian may approach the charge of sending their child to a public or private school with images of a big yellow bus and their child getting “lost in the crowd.” If families take a positive attitude into the transaction experience, new and successful relationships can be developed and maintained between families and professionals.


Individual Planning

All children will experience transition whether it is planned for or not. However, when communities support families and children through comprehensive transition planning, both feel more supported throughout the process. Planning should include preparing the child, preparing the family, building communication and collaboration linkages, and preparing the receiving kindergarten program staff.


Health and Development

Health issues for children transitioning from preschool to primary or kindergarten include up-to-date immunizations, physical and other local requirements of public and private schools. Special dietary considerations and/or allergies are important to note as families complete applications for entry. Health and safety are concerns for both families and professionals. By understanding what to expect along the way the parent/guardian and professionals can prepare by understanding the predictable milestones of typical growth and development and how to identify red flags.

Recommended Visits to Doctor

  • Well-child checkups, screenings, and immunizations: 5 years, 6 years, 8 years, and 10 years
  • Early identification of problems – slow growth, inappropriate weight to height, maltreatment, delays, vision, hearing, language, acute and chronic diseases.
  • Blood Pressure should be screened beginning at about age 3-5

Health and Safety Issues

  • Learning personal hygiene, especially hand washing
  • Managing health issues in school
  • Wellness issues of diet, sleep, physical activity, sunscreen
  • Injury prevention issues: seat belts, supervision near water, walking safety, playground safety, helmets when riding bikes
  • Stranger safety
  • Smoke free environment
  • Guns stored unloaded and locked
  • Oral health – brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste; seeing dentist
  • Limit TV and computer screen time

Normal Growth and Development

  • Developing cooperation
  • Learning responsibility and participating in family and household chores
  • Being read to and learning to read
  • Experiences in the community
  • Getting along with peers and adults
  • Learning to respect authority
  • Learning right and wrong
  • Responding to limits, learning self-discipline and impulse control
  • Managing anger; resolving conflicts with siblings
  • Curiosity about sexuality


Interagency Collaboration

Interagency collaboration involves the inclusion of all agencies within the community and surrounding regional programs which provide and/or assist with services during program entry and/or exit. Effective interagency collaboration requires joint planning with partnering decision making.

In Kentucky, interagency collaboration for early childhood includes state, regional, and community transition planning for children prenatal to age six and their families.