Sunday, May 09, 2004

Beyond Transition: Ensuring Continuity in Early Childhood Services

Beyond Transition: Ensuring Continuity in Early Childhood Services. This is an essay on this topic. State pre-school services tend to end when the kid hits our schools. Here are some transition ideas.

From the site:

In the early childhood field, the word TRANSITION is used in many different ways. Traditionally, TRANSITION has been used to describe the period of time that falls between two different types of activities. TRANSITION may also be used to describe the time period in which children move from home to school, from school to after-school activities, from one activity to another within a preschool, or from preschool to kindergarten. In each case, early childhood professionals have been concerned with easing the transition between two different types of activities or environments.

CONTINUITY: A CONCEPT REVISITED

With more and more children participating in early childhood programs before they enter school, there is an increasing focus on the transition that occurs when children move from preschool to kindergarten. Many children have problems adjusting to elementary school programs that have a different philosophy, teaching style, and structure than those programs in which they participated during their earlier years. Transition efforts were designed to help ease the entry into school by preparing both children and families for the differences children will encounter.

But more recently, there has been a growing consensus that the key to effective services for young children is less through bridging the gap between different types of programs, and more through ensuring continuity in certain key elements that characterize all good early childhood programs. This notion of continuity is not new. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, efforts such as Project Developmental Continuity and Follow-Through were designed to ensure that the principles of good early childhood programs continued into the early years of elementary school. But today's concept of continuity has changed in several respects. First, there is now much more consensus in the field regarding what constitutes appropriate practice in all types of early childhood programs from infancy through the primary grades. There is also growing recognition that parent involvement is a key to a child's success and should be encouraged as children move on to elementary school. Finally, the need for supportive services for both children and families has intensified. Comprehensive family support and health services are critical components throughout the early years.

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