Preparing for transition

Transition can feel scary, but it helps to learn about the next phase and prepare for it.

First of all, don't be worried!

Image of a pair of hands supporting a family
Early Intervention can feel very safe and comfortable. It's easy to stress about what will happen when you move on.


Remember these 2 things:

Image of four people holding handsThe next phase is new and unknown, but you will still get help and support from people who care.

Image of an adult hand holding a child's hand
Your service coordinator will help you all the way through transition.


Learn more:

Here are some ways to learn about transition so you know what to expect:

  • Click the link at the bottom of the page below to read this friendly brochure.

Best Practices in Early Childhood Transition

  • Look for a Transition or Turning 3 workshop for parents. Ask your EI program or Family Ties.

  • Click the "Tips on Transitioning from EI" link at the bottom of the page to read an article about transition, written by a parent.

Tips on Transitioning from EI to the Special Education System

  • Start to learn about your school system's Special Education department. See what they offer and tell them your child may be coming their way.

Once you have made the transition, the school's Special Education department will take care of you.

There are many things you can do to learn more and be involved.

What you can do:

  • See our other Guide about Special Education Services. (This will open in a new tab.)

  • Ask your liaison any questions you have.

  • Think about joining a Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC or SPED PAC). This is a group of parents of kids who get special education in your district.

  • Click the link at the bottom of the page to download a helpful guide to Special Education.

Source: FCSN

Take action:

There are many things you can do to actively prepare for this change.

  • Take note of how your child is doing with the EI services. What kinds of services will they probably still need when they turn 3? Think about what you want for them in the next few years.

  • Talk to your EI service coordinator about next steps for your child.

  • Look at local programs and activities to get your child used to new settings.

Remember that your child may soon be in a new setting, like a preschool or playgroup.

Now is the time to think about how to help them adjust to a new environment.

EI is usually a very home-based support system. Some kids go to community play groups or get services at day care, but most kids see their specialists in their home with their families.

The next phase should start to get them ready for preschool settings. This means they should practice being in groups with other kids, and getting used to other community activities.

What you can do:

  • Think about what your child likes to do. What kind of activities would they enjoy? Do they like Reading? Music? Active play? Nature?If possible, ask them what they'd like to do for fun outside of the house.

  • Look at classes or free activities in your town. Libraries often have story-time or sing-a-longs. Your town may have art, sports or dance programs for young kids. Find activities that your child would like.

  • Take your child to visit these programs and see how they react.

  • Ask other parents and your EI coordinator for ideas.

  • Look in our Resource Directory to find social and recreational activities near you.

  • Call Family Ties and ask for ideas : 1-800-905-TIES (8437).

Source: Family TIES of MA

Create your Transition Packet

Image of an IEP BinderAs you start to work with the school system, you will need to share records and information about your child. It will help help to have all of this in one place.

Many parents like to use a binder for this.


What to include:

  • The IFSP

  • Medical records

  • Evaluation reports

  • Contact info for all service providers your family has used

  • Your own notes about your child

  • Lists of local programs and activities that may be good for child

There are also formal planning activities that you'll do with your EI service coordinator. These include filling out a Transition Plan, and having the Transition Planning Conference. See the next page to learn more.


Sources: E. Ward, MA DESE, MA EEC