Transition to Preschool

The Process After Age Three

What does "Transitioning" mean?

When children turn three years of age, they age out of the Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention (EI) system. The next educational services system is the Preschool Special Education system.

At least 90 days (but no more than nine months) before a child’s 3rd birthday, a face-to-face Transition Meeting will be held to begin planning for future Preschool Special Education services. Transition to preschool is a process, not a singular event, and should begin early to promote and ensure continuity of services and provide families with a seamless system of services.

Transition to Preschool

Transition from early intervention is a time of change, and change can be a challenge for all of us. However, transition can also be an exciting time as you and your family move on to new experiences, learn new things, develop new partnerships and continue to shape new hopes and dreams for your child. We hope to help you better understand the transition process. The more you know about transition, the more comfortable you will feel as you and your child get ready to move beyond early intervention together.


What to expect

Comparing Early Intervention & Preschool Special Education

Early intervention and preschool special education and related services are both
governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, there are differences between the two systems. The table below provides a brief comparison of early intervention and special education.

The Transition Process – One Step at a Time

The following presents the major steps and activities in the transition process. A checklist is provided at the end of Step 5, IEP meeting, that can be used to keep track of events and dates as you navigate through the transition process.

You are encouraged to contribute your ideas, participate in the complete transition process, and take advantage of all the supports and services that will be available to you.

01. Prepare

A good beginning point when you start thinking of transition is to explore the options for young children in your community.

02. Information Sharing

Transition begins early to give you and others who are or may become involved with your child and family, time to meet, share information and plan.

03. Transition Planning

With your approval, your service coordinator schedules a Transition Planning
Conference (TPC) no later than 90 days or earlier than 9 months before your child’s 3rd birthday.

04. Referral and Evaluation

If your child is referred, the school district will respond with an invitation to you to participate in an Identification/Evaluation Planning Meeting.

05. IEP Meeting

Children found eligible for preschool special education receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). After your child has been found eligible, it is time for the IEP team to meet and discuss the information that has been gathered from the evaluation process.

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