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Transition strategies in childcare

10 January, 2023

Edge Early Learning North Harbour
Starting childcare is a big step – both for parents and their children. Transition in childcare settings can cause stress and anxiety, especially if it is not approached smartly and sensitively. To ease the process, it’s a good idea to have a transition strategy in childcare.

Whether it is moving into their own bed or progressing through grades at school, transitions for children can be stressful. They are dealing with big emotions around change, which can affect their health and wellbeing if not handled properly.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help ease the transition.


Transitions between activities

It’s a good idea to introduce your children to changes in their environment slowly. They will encounter many new activities at childcare, so chat to their educators before they start and see if you can introduce them to any of these activities (reading books, playing with sand, doing crafts, etc.) at home. When your child first starts childcare, try to plan their day to reduce as many transitions as possible. Ensure their belongings are ready to go and that they have everything they will need throughout the day. Chat to their educators to find out what the transitions between activities will entail to make sure they have everything they need.


Common problems with transitions

Children will often display challenging behaviours during transitions, causing educators to feel the need to step into a more authoritative role. As such, it’s a good idea for families to be aware of some of the common problems with transitions…

  • Children are not developmentally ready to move up to the next room
  • Transitions are rushed
  • Children don’t know what is coming next
  • Children are not ready to stop doing what they are doing
  • Children have little or no warning of what is expected of them

These problems are why it’s a good idea for parents to be aware of transition strategies in child care.


Strategies support transitions during activities

There are many different strategies that both parents and educators can take to help children with transitions. These include, but aren’t limited to…

  • Introducing the child to the children and educators in the room that they are going to be transitioning into – try to spend some time there each week during quiet times to get started
  • Preparing the environments for transitions
  • Using visual cues
  • Giving children constant updates
  • Preparing the children for changes in advance
  • Singing songs
  • Teaching children to help others – buddy system

Parents, while you’re there try to document how the transition routine is undertaken to help you prepare your child at home.


How we support transitions at Edge Early Learning

We know that transitions can be challenging for children. That’s why we have a number of strategies in place to help ease your child into their early learning journey. For example, we only transition when they are developmentally ready. We also don’t structure our program by set ages because we know that all children develop at different paces. We include the family in this decision too. We strongly believe that early learning should always be a partnership with the family and the centre.

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