It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to help children and young people navigate through the education system. Moving through early childhood education, school and onto further education or training is challenging for young people - every change requires the child or student to become familiar with new people, practices and expectations. It is important that leaders, teachers and parents help children navigate through and make these shifts, or transitions, as smooth as possible so that learning is continuous.

This report looks at children’s experiences moving from early childhood services to schools, from the points of view of both. It gives insight into what’s important, what works well and what’s not working so well for our children at this critical point of transition.

The evaluation talks about a shift in emphasis from “the child being ready for school, to the need for the school to be ready for the child”. This quote applies equally at the point when a child is entering an early childhood education service, moving through that service, starting school, going to intermediate and on to secondary school and into tertiary or vocational training.

When early childhood services and schools live this quote, children and young people’s learning, social, physical and cultural needs are met and the learning they have achieved in one part of the system transfers to and is built on in the next. When this doesn’t happen well, children’s learning is interrupted and their progress and achievement is affected.

Early childhood and school teachers need to work together with parents and whanau so that the system works for children zero to 18 years.

Iona Holsted

Chief Review Officer

Education Review Office

May 2015