Discover ideas below to ease the transition to kindergarten for children, families and you!

For Children

  • A few months before children leave your program, it’s important to talk to them about what to expect. An easy and comfortable way to start that discussion is through books and stories. Explore your local library for these books:
    • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate
    • Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell
    • The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing
    • Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, by Eric Litwin
    • Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten, by Hyewon Yum
  • Make a list of children’s thoughts about kindergarten. This would include what they already know and what questions they may have. Children who have older siblings or friends could serve as  good resources for their friends.
  • Contact your local school and arrange a visit to their kindergarten.
  • Invite a kindergarten teacher to visit your program. Or, if you offer a kindergarten program, visit the kindergarten classroom with the children.
  • Have a visit from a school bus! Many children may experience their first bus ride on their way to their new school. A practice ride will certainly calm any first time jitters. 

For Families

  • Make kindergarten the focus of your final family conferences of the year. Provide parents with a progress report and/or portfolio.
  • Remind families to register for kindergarten, and have registration information available from local schools.
  • Have a Kindergarten Readiness Night! Invite parents to come for an information session led between the childcare provider and a local elementary school representative. This will give parents the opportunity to ask questions, complete required forms, check transportation and lunch schedules, as well as anything else that may be unfamiliar to families.  Child care programs can partner together to provide this resource for families.
  • Encourage families to talk about their feelings on their child going to kindergarten. This is a big milestone for parents as well.

During the summer months

Talk about kindergarten throughout the year. Support families in engaging in home activities that will promote habits that lead to a successful school career and prepare children for this next big step. Encourage families to:

  • Read to their child every day.
  • Give their child opportunities to problem solve and make decisions.
  • Offer crayons, scissors, and small manipulatives to support their child’s fine motor coordination.
  • Create a consistent bedtime schedule to encourage quality resting and waking habits.
  • Provide healthy, well-balanced meals to support their growing bodies.
  • Connect with other families that will be starting kindergarten at the same school in order to build friendships to help, especially with the first few days of school.
  • Visit the new school. Spend time on the playground and even practice walking from the transportation “drop zone” to the school’s front door.