State Policies to Enhance Transitions into Kindergarten
Laura Bornfreund, Danielle Ewen, Aaron Loewenberg, Davida McDonald, Alyssa Rafa, & Matt Weyer; Education Commission of the States
The transition into kindergarten is a critical juncture for young students and their families; it can also be a stressful time. Research shows that transition activities that are authentic, meaningful, ongoing and well-designed make a difference for children’s kindergarten experience; and that the quality of the transition can either exacerbate or ameliorate existing inequities related to success. It is important that the transition into kindergarten supports all students in an equitable and comprehensive manner. Understanding the components of a comprehensive and effective transition system can help state leaders steadily make improvements and monitor these changes over time.
This Policy Brief highlights the variety of student experiences prior to kindergarten; focuses on the importance of early education and health; and provides a comprehensive set of state policy strategies, examples and considerations that enable the conditions for successful transitions.