Transition to Kindergarten

Transition to Kindergarten

Helping your Child Make the Transition to Kindergarten

During your child’s preschool and elementary years, your involvement in their education can set them on a path to success for years to come. The more you know, the better advocate you can be for your child. Here are a few things that you as a parent can do to prepare your child for kindergarten and get their school career off to a great start.

  • Talk to your child’s preschool teacher or family child care provider on a regular basis and ask how you can help your child learn at home. Your child’s caregiver/teacher can be a great partner in helping you and your child prepare for the transition.
  • Plan a kindergarten visit. Visiting the new classroom or school with your child will help make preparing for kindergarten easier. If possible, meet with your child’s new kindergarten teacher. Kindergarten orientation is time for you to introduce your child and yourself to the teacher. Remember there will be lots of children and families attending, so save in-depth conversations about your child for another time.
  • Establish bedtime routines. Resume the regular bedtime routines about a month before school starts to help ease the kindergarten transition. You will be glad you did this as the first few weeks can be exhausting for a new kindergartner. You may also want to monitor afternoon and evening TV viewing habits or establish new limits to meet the new needs of your child’s school schedule.
  • Establish a morning routine. Having a morning routine will save you time and frustration. See how long it takes in the morning to get to school before that first day. A “dry run” will help with time management. Remember, school preparation almost always takes more time than you think.
  • Plan time for breakfast. Having a good breakfast before leaving for school is important. Be sure to adjust your morning schedule to account for the extra time for your child to enjoy breakfast. Nervous tummies don’t need a huge breakfast that first day.
  • Create a lunch plan. Be sure your child understands the lunch plan. This can be very confusing for a kindergartner who thinks they might want to eat what the school is serving instead of the lunch you may have prepared.
  • Decrease or phase out naps. For preschoolers who still take a nap, begin decreasing nap time so that he/she will be ready for a full day of school by the time kindergarten starts.
  • Make a plan for before- and after-school. Make sure you and your child know the routine for before- and after-school care if that applies. Discuss where he/she will go, how he/she will get between school and child care, how he/she will get home, etc. Have a back-up plan for what to do in case you are late. Be sure that your emergency pick-up people know where the new school or after-school program is located and what the pick-up routine is there. Better to prepare ahead of time than wait for an emergency.
  • Connect with your child’s teacher. It is important to give yourself and your child a chance to “bond” with the new teacher. Give time for the new relationship to develop between you, your child, and the new teacher as you all adjust to the kindergarten classroom.
  • Go shopping together for school supplies. Let your child choose colors or styles for their school supplies. This is a fun activity when getting ready for kindergarten!
  • Once kindergarten begins, keep informed of school happenings. Be sure to read the information that is shared with you about school happenings and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  • Keep in mind the transition doesn’t end on the first day of kindergarten. You will continue to be your child’s first and best teacher…AND your child’s best advocate when it comes to his or her education.

Check out these other articles on kindergarten transition:

Is Your Child Ready?

Readiness skills, both academic and social/emotional, can help your child’s transition to kindergarten. Since All children develop in their own way, guidelines can help you determine if your child is ready as well as offer opportunities to work on these skills before they start school.

Information shared with permission from CPCD giving children a head start.

Here are additional articles and resources related to determining your child’s readiness:

Check out Be Ready’s Ready Set Kindergarten! booklet for a calendar to guide you along the way and fun activities to help your child be prepared. 


What Kindergarten Teachers Wish You Knew

Kindergarten teachers are offer their advice to parents preparing to send their children to school:

Keeping Up in Kindergarten

Your child’s transition to kindergarten doesn’t end when you drop them off the first day. Check out these resources for keeping up with your child’s progress:


Early Learning & Development Guidelines

The Early Learning & Development video series includes a video on the topic of preparing for school:

Kindergarten Expectations: Preparing for School

Kindergarten Registration Dates for 2010-21

For information about kindergarten registration dates for the 2020-21 school year, you may wish to contact school districts directly. Below are links to the registration page for each school district. Updated information for the upcoming school year varies by school district. While your “home” school district is determined by your street address, parents may apply for a permit to attend an school of choice during open enrollment windows.

Selecting an Education Setting that Fits Your Child

Our community has many choices when it comes to the variety of education settings available. Here are some resources to consider as you begin to knock on doors: