Kindergarten (kindy) is where children continue their love of learning.
Effective transition practices, based on strong relationships and communication between the child, their family, early childhood education settings and the community, help children and their families positively move from one setting to another.
When children make the transition into kindy, they adjust to new or unfamiliar environments and situations. This includes new routines and expectations, new ways of learning, new relationships with other children and adults and new physical surroundings.
Researchers continue to find strong links between children’s intellectual and social capabilities in the early years of learning and future educational success and positive social outcomes.
Positive transitions experienced by children throughout the early years have a positive influence on long-term educational experiences.
What can you do before your child moves into kindy?
Help your child to feel comfortable about starting kindy by talking positively about kindy in everyday conversations. You could talk about:
- the location of the kindy: ‘when we go to the shops today, we will drive past your kindy’ or ‘the kindy room is the next one along, do you remember seeing the kindy kids in the playground?’
- when your child will start kindy: ‘next year, you will start kindy – let’s put it on the calendar’
- who your child might know at kindy: ‘did you know Sam, Kellie and Jake will be going to your kindy?’
- making friends at kindy: ‘you can say, hello my name is... I’d like to play too’
Take time to talk to the educators and understand the routines your child will likely experience at kindy, for example:
- use the names of educators if known (especially if you are staying at your current centre)
- ask if your child thinks there will be group times for stories, songs and games
- what do they think they will able to do when outside?
- ask your child what they are looking forward to the most about kindy.
You can reassure your child and make them feel safe by:
- reminding them to ask the educators for help if they are worried or unsure what to do
- talk through some ‘what will I do if…?’ situations with your child, for example ‘what will I do if I can’t find my bag?’
- practise easy ways of asking for help e.g. ‘can you help me with my shoes please?', ‘I don’t know where to play’, ‘I don’t know where to put my hat’.
Getting to know the kindy community also plays a big part in helping your child feel safe, confident and welcome in their new environment. You can:
- attend transition to kindy sessions, open days and advertised social events
- spend time with your child in the kindy program
- get to know your child’s teacher and other kindy staff.
wonderful me kindy poster and complete with your child to support their move to kindy.
Be You, in collaboration with Early Childhood Australia and headspace, has developed a range of evidence-informed resources for families and educators:
Together, let’s make the big moves smaller.
Families living in identified locations can attend these fun, free play and learn sessions with their 3-year-olds in the year before their child starts kindergarten.
Explore the benefits of participating in kindy – a part-time educational program for children in the year prior to starting school.
A Great Start to Kindergarten pilot program
Read about the preparation for kindy program being trialled in 41 select kindergartens across Queensland.
Early Childhood Development Programs (ECDP) (PDF, 3.4MB)
ECDPs provide support for children with disability from birth to 5 years. They support early learning development as children transition to school.
Read more about kindergarten transition statements and how they support each child's continued learning when they start school.
Read how quality early learning programs are for all children.