The transition from pre-K to kindergarten can be a challenging time for students and teachers alike. The variety of available options for pre-K—including Head Start, in-home child care, faith-based programs, and state-funded pre-k—means incoming kindergarten students have different levels of academic readiness, social development, and understanding of school norms.
A mechanism to coordinate the transition from the various pre-K settings to the kindergarten classroom “can create a nearly seamless educational system with a continuity of learning, supportive relationships, and engaging experiences” that will enhance student outcomes. On the other hand, a lack of coordination can mean that teachers may have little or no information about the different family backgrounds, developmental levels, and educational histories their students bring, and this can cause frustrations for the students, their families, and the teachers alike.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, which amended the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) of 1965, requires local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving Title I funding to
support, coordinate, and integrate services provided under this part with early childhood education programs at the local educational agency or individual school level, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs.