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Moving to an early years setting

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The transition from home to an early year’s setting is a significant milestone for both children and families.

Whether your child’s early learning journey begins at an occasional care service, long day care centre, playgroup, kindergarten or school, the transition to education and care outside of home and family can be exciting, significant and sometimes overwhelming.

It’s important to acknowledge that transition into early learning may see parents, like children, also experiencing some apprehension during this time.

Partnerships between families and the early childhood educators/carers can help parents manage this period of change. An environment that is welcoming of parents and encourages them to collaborate with early childhood educators is an important part of these partnerships. With good information, preparation and support, all families can ensure the transition from home to an early childhood setting is a positive experience.

What can you do before your child starts at an early childho​​od setting?

  • Reflect on your child’s disposition and strengths, how they adjust to change and what environments they currently respond to and experience.
  • Think about your child’s age and the developmental stage when they start their transition to an early year setting to understand what needs and behaviours might be predicted and understood.
  • Reflect on the other important factors that make your child and family individual in their strengths and needs.
  • Introduce the early childhood setting in safe and comfortable ways in the days, weeks and months before you start.

What can you do to support your child’s move to a​n early childhood setting?

  • Talk frequently and often with your child’s educators and carers to ensure you are both sharing stories and updates of the milestones, events, people and experiences happening in your child’s life.
  • Mirror the daily routines and rituals of rest, sleep, mealtimes, hygiene, toileting and behaviour management at home and at the early childhood setting wherever possible.
  • Make comforting connections between home and care.
  • Establish drop off and re-connection rituals and routines at both home and the early childhood setting.
  • Tune into your child’s behaviours.
  • Take time to reconnect with your child every day.
  • Get involved in the early years program if and when you can.

Together, let’s make the big moves smaller.

More inform​ation

​Children with disability
Read more about supporting children with a disability as they transition in the early years on the transitions in the early years page.

Inclusion ready
Check out the resources for educators.

Early Childho​od Development Story​
Read Queensland’s Early Childhood Development Story to learn how you can help children grow.

Early Years Places
Located across Queensland, each Early Years Place offers a mix of programs including playgroup, early childhood education and care, health services, and family and parenting support.

Playgroup
Playgroups are informal and relaxed opportunities for families and carers with young children to learn through play.

Ready together
This resource translates learnings from child (and brain) development research into everyday language.

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Last updated 16 November 2021