Frequently Asked Questions

What is Transition: A Positive Start to School

Transition: A Positive Start to School is a Victorian government initiative that introduces a consistent approach to guide families, early childhood services, outside school hours care services and schools to support a positive start to school for all children.

It outlines what all families can expect when participating in local transition to school programs and provides a shared understanding between early childhood services, outside school hours care services and schools about what is important for children and their families during this pivotal time.

The initiative also introduces a tool for families and educators to share information about a child’s learning and development in the form of a Transition Learning and Development Statement.

For more information, see: Transition to School

What does effective transition look like?

A combination of approaches and processes is required to support effective transition and continuity of learning, which is achieved when: 

  • respectful, trusting and supportive relationships are maintained among all those working with children and their families
  • information about the children is well understood, shared and valued
  • children have the opportunities to have their say about what is important to them
  • processes are adapted in response to the local communities and individual children and families
  • children and families who require additional support are identified early, and support is planned and delivered through a collaborative approach.

What is a Transition Learning and Development Statement?

The Transition Learning and Development Statement (Transition Statement) supports the consistent transfer of information, irrespective of the school or outside school hours care service a child is going to. It provides an opportunity for children, their families and the professionals working with them to contribute and have their views reflected in it.

The information in the Transition Statement:

  • summarises a child’s learning and development
  • identifies their individual approaches to learning and their interests
  • indicates how the child can be supported to continue learning.

The information in the Transition Statement helps prep/foundation teachers to get to know the children entering their classes before they start, and to plan the curriculum to support each child’s learning and development when they start school.

For more information, see: Transition Learning and Development Statement

Why are we documenting children’s learning and development in this way?

Early childhood educators and teachers document children’s learning and development in many ways. Using the Transition Statement is a useful way to share this information more formally and consistently with families and other educators. The Transition Statement helps to make each child’s learning and development visible at the point of entry to school to both families and professionals working with them in the school environment.

The common format of the Transition Statement supports the consistent transfer of information, irrespective of the school a child is going to, or where a child attended an early childhood service.

The Transition Statement reflects the five learning outcomes identified in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF), which underpin all early childhood professionals’ approaches to planning for children’s learning and development, and provides a common language for families and educators linked to the Victorian Curriculum.

For more information, see: VEYLDF 

Will all children receive a Transition Statement?

It is important that all Victorian children are supported to make a successful transition to school, whether they are making the transition directly from home or via early childhood services. The Transition: A Positive Start to School resources are available to all early childhood services, early childhood intervention services, outside school hours care services, schools – Government, Independent and Catholic – and families.

Since 2009, early childhood services offering a funded kindergarten program – whether this is in a long day care setting or stand-alone kindergarten – have been required to provide a Transition Learning and Development Statement (Transition Statement) for all children commencing school the following year as part of their funding agreement with the Department. This policy continues in 2017.

Educators working in early childhood services not funded for kindergarten are encouraged to write a Transition Statement for any child in their care as they make the transition to school the following year.

Educators working with children attending a funded kindergarten program in another service are encouraged to contribute to this process. These educators should work with individual families to identify the best way to do this. For example, this may involve the preparation of additional material.

School staff are also encouraged to work with families to complete ‘Section 3: The Family’ for children enrolled without a Transition Statement.

For more information, see: Transition to School

Who coordinates the Transition Statement with long day care, family day care or occasional care services?

Early childhood educators in funded kindergarten programs are best placed to coordinate the Transition Statement. Children may also be attending other early childhood services that will have valuable insights about the child to contribute to this process, such as educators in long day care, family day care or occasional care services.

Most early childhood educators have established relationships with other professionals working in services involved with a child including: early intervention, long day care services, family day care, occasional care, preschool field officers and other inclusion support facilitators. Where these arrangements are in place, professionals are encouraged to work together to complete the Transition Statement.

Services that don’t have relationships in place are encouraged to work with families to discuss the inclusion of any additional information. This may involve educators in other services preparing additional information or an additional Transition Statement being attached and forwarded to the school.

Who completes the Transition Statement for a child attending an early intervention program or is assisted by a support worker?

Early childhood educators in funded kindergarten programs are best placed to coordinate the Transition Statement.

However, in some cases it may be more appropriate for another early childhood professional to coordinate the Transition Statement, such as when a child is spending significantly more time in an early intervention program or with an identified support worker. In these circumstances a discussion should be held with the family and an agreement reached between all parties about who should coordinate the Transition Statement.

If the person who is nominated to coordinate the Transition Statement is not the educator in the funded kindergarten program, that individual is still encouraged to provide information for inclusion in the Transition Statement.

For more information, see: Children with a Disability

Is the Transition Statement the same as a kindergarten report card?

The Transition Statement is not a report card. It is designed to be a descriptive document written about a child’s individual strengths and achievements to support the child and family as they transition to school.

The Transition Statement has been designed to provide valuable information for families and schools, particularly prep teachers, and outside school hours care educators to help them build relationships, identify how children can best be supported as they transition into school and plan appropriate learning programs.

The information provided in the Transition Statements will not be used to grade children or compare them to a benchmark, norm or standard.

For more information, see: Transition Learning and Development Statement

How does the Transition Statement link to all the other information collected about a child?

It is important to recognise that while the Transition Statement will contain a significant amount of information about a child, there are a number of services and settings that collect information about a child’s learning and development throughout the first eight years of their life.

For example, prior to school assessments are undertaken by services that include, but are not limited to, Maternal and Child Health services and Early Childhood Intervention services. These assessments address the specific learning, wellbeing and development profiles of a child at various points throughout early childhood.

In addition, a number of assessments take place when children enter school. These include, but are not limited to, the School Entrant Health Questionnaire and the English and Mathematics online interviews. These assessments provide the opportunity for teachers to find out more about each child, their abilities and interests, and play a role in assisting the school and prep teachers to understand the learning and development needs of each child.

The Transition Statement provides relevant, timely information from early childhood educators and families to schools. The timing of the Transition Statement – in most cases provided to schools in October/November the year prior to the child starting school – means that the information contained in it gives schools insights into the child’s learning and development before they have entered prep. These outcomes are linked to the Victorian Curriculum. The section completed by families (Section 3: The Family) has valuable information and insights that can also support a smooth transition.

Together, the Transition Statement and all the other information collected about a child provide a strong foundation from which the prep teacher and outside school hours care educator can plan effectively to support the continuity of each child’s learning and development.

For more information, see:

If a child leaves a kindergarten during the year does the kindergarten have to prepare a Transition Statement when they leave?

Services offering a funded kindergarten program are expected to provide Transition Statements for children as they transition into school as detailed in their funding guidelines.

If a child leaves the kindergarten program prior to the period in which the Transition Statements are being prepared, early childhood educators are encouraged to discuss the child’s learning and development with the family before they leave.

The Transition Statement may provide a useful tool to frame discussions and provide written information to the family about their child’s learning and development, or to the service the child may attend in the future.

Can I change the format of the Transition Statement?

No. The Transition Statement was designed after consultation with experts and practitioners from early childhood and school sectors, and is meant to align with the requirements of privacy legislation. The Transition Statement provides all early childhood services and schools in Victoria a consistent format designed to help Victorian children and families transition into school. Therefore the style and format cannot be altered or locally adapted.

Is there an exemption policy for Transition Statements?

All services with a funded kindergarten program are required to provide a Transition Statement for each child starting prep the following year.

At times, services may encounter circumstances that may impinge on completing the Transition Statements, for example:

  • recent resignation of a qualified staff member
  • qualified staff member away on leave
  • having difficulty recruiting to a position or multiple staff members in the role over a period of time.

In the event of these circumstances it is helpful to have these noted in the ‘context of the early years setting’ section of Section 1 of the Transition Statement. Specifically, the following should be noted:

  • staffing circumstance
  • period of time the relief, temporary or new staff person has worked at the service specified
  • that information contained in the Transition Statement has been prepared on the basis of existing records and observations recently made.

The service still needs to provide a Transition Statement for each eligible child and should consider how best to manage this given the specific circumstance. Possible approaches could be to:

  • seek the assistance of another educator who has spent a longer time with the children to write and/or coordinate the Transition Statements, under the guidance of a qualified educator
  • discuss and negotiate with the local schools the possibilities of a later date for forwarding the Transition Statements.

Why and how has the Transition Statement been redesigned?

The Transition Learning and Development Statement has been redesigned based on recommendations from VAGO and the consultation undertaken by the Department. A working group from the Transition to School Expert Advisory Group provided input into the redesign. This included feedback from early childhood educators and foundation teachers.  The Department has created a video outlining the features of the new Transition Statement.

Fore more information, see Overview of the new Transition Statement and online TLDS.

Who is the Transition Statement written for?

Transition Statements are written for prep/foundation teachers and OSHC educators. Even though early childhood educators have conversations throughout the year with families about their child’s learning and development and families are provided with a copy of their child’s Transition Statement, they are not written for the family.

Does the revised Transition Statement still contain sections for the child and their family to complete?

Yes. The new Transition Statement still contains sections for children and families to provide information.

Is the new Transition Statement mandatory for every child transitioning into school?

As part of the funded kindergarten services funding policy, writing the Transition Statement is mandatory. Every child going onto school requires a Transition Statement. Other Transition Statements cannot be used in its place.

Where has the ‘pick list’ of indicators or examples of learning in Section 1.1 come from? Can the early childhood educator edit them?

The ‘pick list’ of descriptors are drawn from the VEYLDF illustrative maps. The pick list is provided to early childhood educators as a starting point providing examples. Educators can edit the descriptors.

Does there need to be intentional teaching strategies written against each outcome?

Yes. Educators must write at least one intentional teaching strategy to support the child’s learning progress against each of the five VEYLDF outcomes. Individualised strategies are helpful to foundation/prep teachers as they begin to plan their teaching approaches and programs for the start of the school year. Strategies that reference the individual child's abilities, dispositions and interests are helpful to the receiving teacher and school.

What is section 1.2 ‘enhanced transition’ section of the Transition Statement and do early childhood educators need to complete this section for all children?

The redesign of the Transition Statement includes a new section for Enhanced Transitions, section 1.2. Early childhood educators are recommended to complete section 1.2 to support children with a disability or developmental delay. A child does not have to have a clinical diagnosis for this section to be completed by the educator, however, before filling in this section it is important for the educator and family to discuss how the information in this section could be most helpful to the receiving school.

What information does section 1.2 record?

Section 1.2 captures information about other Early Childhood professionals supporting the family and child and lists reports or assessments that have been undertaken and are available to support inclusion planning.

Can a Transition Statement be written earlier in the year to support inclusion planning for children with additional needs?

Yes. A Transition Statement can be written earlier in the year to support inclusion planning for children with a disability or developmental delay. It can help with early discussions with the family, the school and others involved in supporting the child’s transition to school. While writing an early Transition Statement is not mandatory, it can be very helpful.

What should the early childhood educator do regarding writing an early Transition Statement in 2017?

As 2017 is the first year of implementation of this revised Transition Statement, it is understandable that early childhood services may not have the opportunity to complete an early Transition Statement in June-July, but they should consider writing an early Transition Statement for any child with a disability or developmental delay in 2018 and beyond.

What is Early ABLES?

Early ABLES is an online assessment for learning tool to help educators create and provide a more tailored learning experience for children aged two to five years with disabilities or developmental delay.

For more information see: Early ABLES

What is the Online TLDS (Transition for Learning and Development Statement) and where is it hosted?

The online TLDS is an online Transition Statement writing tool that early childhood services will start using in 2017. The online TLDS allows early childhood educators to write, share and store Transition Statements. The online TLDS is hosted on the Insight Assessment Platform.

For more information, see Online TLDS

What is the Insight Assessment Platform and what does it do?

The Insight Assessment Platform was rolled out to all government schools in 2017. This year the Insight Assessment Platform will also become available for early childhood services to use.

Sharing a Transition Statement via the Insight Assessment Platform gives schools the ability to link a child’s Transition Statement to an enrolled student’s records. This will link the Transition Statement to other online assessments such as English online and Maths online that are also hosted on the Insight Assessment Platform.

For more information, see: Insight Assessment Platform

What if the child is going to attend a Catholic or Independent school or an outside school hours care (OSHC) service?

A Transition Statement can be created using the online TLDS for every child, however for children attending Catholic and Independent schools, their Transition Statements will still need to be manually shared if the school isn’t using the Insight Assessment Platform. Transition Statements will also need to be manually shared with OSHC services.

Do I have to use the online TLDS to create a Transition Statement?

Ideally, all early childhood services will use the online TLDS to create a Transition Statement. If the early childhood service does not have access to appropriate technology they can apply to the Department to use a paper-based version of the Transition Statement.

The Department has engaged State Library Victoria to provide technical support to early childhood services using the online TLDS in 2017.

The Department will also be producing training videos specifically for early childhood educators providing step-by-step instructions on how to use the online TLDS to write and share Transition Statements.

What support do early childhood services have to use the online TLDS?

In 2017, the State Library Victoria will provide IT support to early childhood services using the online TLDS through phone and email helpdesk.

The Department will also be producing training videos specifically for early childhood educators that provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the online TLDS to write and share Transition Statements. Detailed user guides will also be available for early childhood services and schools.

What support do government schools have to use the online TLDS?

The IT support for schools is similar to all other assessments hosted on the Insight Assessment Platform. For technical issues related to the Insight Assessment Platform, contact the School assessment administrator at your school in the first instance. If the issue cannot be resolved, contact the Department's Service Desk.

The Department will also be producing training videos specifically for schools providing step-by-step instructions on how to use the online TLDS to access and link Transition Statements. Detailed user guides will also be available for early childhood services and schools.