Moving to primary school

You play a vital role in helping children in your care move to primary school. Find out how you can support families and children make a smooth transition.

Hard copies of the Transition: A Positive Start to School Resource Kit are now available. For more information, see Transition Resource Kit

​​Starting school is a major change for children and their families. It can be both challenging and exciting.

You can support children and their families to make this transition as smooth as possible. It is important for you to understand that the transition experience starts well before, and extends far beyond, a child’s first day of school.

Research projects

A number of research projects explore how educators, schools and families can work together support children get a positive start to primary school. Research about transition to school

Support for at risk children and families

Transition to school can be an exciting, stressful and challenging time for young children and families due to the significant changes and adjustments required. Some children and families will take longer to settle into school and will find the transition more difficult than their peers will. Children and families experiencing vulnerability tend to have more complex support needs in early years transitions and this varies according to their unique circumstances.

A child is vulnerable if they or their families are experiencing multiple, complex challenges which may limit the capacity of the parents and other family members to effectively care, protect, and provide for their children, putting at risk their immediate wellbeing and long-term development.

Two new resources to support early childhood professionals to intentionally strengthen the experience of transition for children and families experiencing vulnerability are now available.

For more information, see 2017 Research - Support for Children and Families at Risk of Experiencing Vulnerability

Strength-based approach guide

The strength-based approach is about assisting people (educators, children and families) to build a picture of what a child’s learning and development could look like in the future. It views situations realistically and looks for opportunities to complement and support existing strengths and capacities as opposed to focusing on, and staying with, the problem or concern.

The guide was developed in consultation with early childhood and school educators, professionals, academics and stakeholders. You can use this resource to learn more about the strength-based approach and to help you with writing and interpreting statements. 

For more information, see:

For further information ​on Transition to School, contact:​​