Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.2 Policies

9.2.2 Transitions Planning for Child’s Transition to New Services

If a parent/guardian requests assistance with the transition process from the facility to a public school or another program, the designated care or service coordinator at the facility should review the child’s records, including needs, learning style, supports, progress, and recommendations. The designated care or service coordinator should obtain written informed consent from the parent/guardian prior to sharing information at a transition meeting, in a written summary, or in some other verbal or written format.

The process for the child’s departure should also involve sharing and the exchange of progress reports with other care providers for the child and the parents/guardians of the child within the realm of confidentiality guidelines.

Any special health care need of the child and successful strategies that have been employed while at child care should be shared. For children who are receiving services under Part C of IDEA 2004, a transition plan is required, usually at least ninety days prior to the time that the child will leave the facility or program.

In the case of a child who may be eligible for preschool services, with approval of the family of the child, a conference should be convened among the lead agency, the family, and the local educational agency not less than ninety days (and at the discretion of all such parties, not more than nine months) before the child is eligible for the preschool services, to discuss any such services that the child may receive. In the case of a child who may not be eligible for such preschool services, with the approval of the family, reasonable efforts should be made to convene a conference among the lead agency, the family, and providers of other appropriate services, to discuss the appropriate services that the child may receive; to review the child’s program options; for the period from the child’s third birthday through the remainder of the school year; and to establish a transition plan, including as appropriate, steps to exit from the program. A plan also requires description of efforts to promote collaboration among Early Head Start programs under section 645A of the Head Start Act, early education and child care programs.

The facility should determine in what form and for how long archival records of transitioned children should be maintained by the facility.

All children and their families will experience one or more program transitions during early childhood. One of the most common transitions is from preschool to kindergarten. Families in transition benefit when support and advocacy are available from a facility representative who is aware of their needs and of the community’s resources (1). This process is essential in planning the child’s departure or transition to another program. Information regarding successful behavior strategies, motivational strategies, and similar information may be helpful to staff in the setting to which the child is transitioning.
Some families are capable of advocating effectively for themselves and their children; others require help negotiating the system outside of the facility. An interdisciplinary process is encouraged. Though coordinating and evaluating health and therapeutic services for children with special health care needs is primarily the responsibility of the school district or regional center, staff from the child care facility (one of many service providers) should participate, as staff members have had a unique opportunity to observe the child. In small and large family child care homes where an interdisciplinary team is not present, the caregivers/teachers should participate in the planning and preparation along with other care or treatment providers, with parent/guardian written consent.

It is important for all providers of care to coordinate their activities and referrals; otherwise the family may not be well informed. If records are shared electronically, providers should ensure that the records are encrypted for security and confidentiality.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Format for the Transition Plan Written Policy on Confidentiality of Records Access to Facility Records Availability of Records to Licensing Agency Availability of Documents to Parents/Guardians
  1. Harbin, G., B. Rous, N. Peeler, J. Schuster, K. McCormick. 2007. Research brief: Desired family outcomes of the early childhood transition process.