Starting school is an exciting but also potentially stressful time for children and families alike. It is one of the key transition points during childhood. All such transitions are known to be times of particular vulnerability for young children, when earlier developmental and social progress is placed at risk. A successful transition to school is important for all children. This Policy Brief summarises the research evidence regarding transition to school, including strategies which aim to make it a smooth and successful process for children and their families.
Why is this issue important?
Commencing school presents children and their families with both opportunities and challenges. It requires them to negotiate many changes - in identity, relationships, physical environment, social environment status, learning environment, and rules (Dockett & Perry, 2005, 2007a; Fabian, 2007). This can be a positive experience, but the more dramatic these changes are, the more difficult it can be for children and families to make the transition successfully.