School Readiness and Transition to School

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School readiness and transition to school
By Sonja Tansey

Starting school can be an exciting, though often anxious experience for young children and their families. When children move from a familiar child care environment, with established relationships and routines, a larger more structured school setting can be overwhelming even for very confident children.
Child care services play an important role in preparing children and families for school and easing their transition from child care to the school setting.

The value of effective school readiness and transition Positive early school experiences through sound preparation and smooth transitions create good short and long term outcomes for children.
Effective school
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It is more important for their child to have good social skills and to be a confident learner to set the foundations for a lifetime of learning. Families can be reminded that the essential social skills needed for school are being fostered through the early childhood program. Child care professionals can explain how participating in play with others helps children to develop the skills to take turns, build relationships and express thoughts and ideas.

Early childhood programs can promote the following skills to support children’s school readiness.
Social skills to support children to:
• positively approach other children and make friends; • participate in play;
• express emotions and deal with conflict appropriately; • show interest in others and form friendships;
• express their needs and wants appropriately;
• separate from parents or primary carers;
• take turns in games and activities;

Families may seek advice from child care professionals about which school would be most suitable for their child. Services can encourage families to consider factors such as the school philosophy, location, cost, facilities and resources, religious orientation and how these may suit their child and family needs.

• share toys and equipment;

There are a number of recognised authorities that produce school readiness information for families.
The Centre for Community Child Health provides a useful Parent Information Sheet on School Readiness
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