Helpful Tips and Resources for Kindergarten Transition

March Into Kindergarten

Kindergarten resources and tips for Families

It’s soon time for kindergarten and you’ll want to prepare your child for this big step! Here are several kindergarten-related topics that will help you and your child prepare and be ready.

Help with the transition to kindergarten

The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers tips on transitioning children to kindergarten that will help children and parents:

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Ohio Early Learning Development Standards
Helping Your Child Make Transitions: Home to School
PBS Kindergarten Readiness Series

Children with Special Needs? Transition starts NOW

If your child learns differently from his or her peers, or has identified or suspected special needs, you can help your child experience a successful transition to kindergarten.

Parents of three, and four-year-old children with physical or social-emotional needs can contact their school districts now instead of waiting for the springtime registration period. When you establish a relationship with the school, you lay the groundwork for your child’s success.

“Each and every child is a distinct individual with special strengths and needs; children with and without physical, developmental, health or emotional challenges can participate successfully in the same routines and experiences; and all of the children, parents and teachers should be enriched in the process leading to a successful transition to Kindergarten. – Prevention and Inclusion Programs Team”

We encourage parents to know their child’s rights under special education law.

For tips and resources on helping a child with special needs transition into kindergarten, please follow these links:

Resources for Diverse Learners: Preschool and Kindergarten

Students with specific needs, or Who learn differently from many of their peers, might require extra resources to make their school experience successful. Through the organizations below, parents can find resources for children with disabilities, learning difficulties, or exceptional needs.

  • Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities
    The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) is a statewide nonprofit organization that serves families of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities in Ohio, and agencies who provide services to them. OCECD’s program helps parents become informed and effective representatives for their children and all educational settings. In addition, youth are assisted to advocate for themselves. Through knowledge about laws, resources, rights and responsibilities, families are better able to work with agencies to ensure that appropriate services are received for the benefit of their sons and daughters.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities
    From their website: the National Center for Learning Disabilities improves the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.
  • The Division for Early Childhood
    From their website: The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) is one of 17 divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionality’s, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. DEC is especially for individuals who work with or on behalf of children with special needs, birth through age 8, and their families.

In Cuyahoga County, parents can find more resources on the Educational Service Center’s website: Educational Service Center

In Cleveland, parents and families can find more resources on the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Website: CMSD Special Education

Resources for preschool and kindergarten students’ social emotional wellness

  • The Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early learning offers techniques, like helping a child calm down and prevent conflict by pretending to be Tucker Turtle, in their Parent Training Modules. The Center offers other resources and information to help improve the special and emotional outcomes of young children.
  • Find Tucker Turtle and other tips in their family workbook and explore their website for complete resources.

Ohio’s school report card system

Ohio is making it easier to understand the strength of each school and district by communicating results in a familiar way: on report cards.

The Ohio Department of Education offers an explanation of the report card system and a tool to search your districts report card here.

District List

Find contact information for your local district (link pdf)

Missing preschool or kindergarten classes: it’s a big deal

“It’s just preschool” or “It’s just kindergarten”- right? Being absent a day here or there, or a few days in a row, isn’t a big deal- right?

Research shows that the answer is: Wrong! It’s a very big deal!

Children who miss days early in their academic career fall behind other students and set up a pattern for absenteeism later. The March into Kindergarten team has the goal that children in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, will be registered, ready, and in class every day of kindergarten.

A report on preschool attendance out of Chicago shows just how important consistently showing up for school is, for the youngest students.

For more information on attendance, including information for parents, schools, afterschool providers, health care providers, and policy makers, visit: Attendance Works: Advancing Student Success by Reducing Chronic Absence

Reading with Your Child

One on one reading time helps a child with literacy skills and much more. It can help connect to caregivers, feel safe, inspire curiosity, and help him or her think through problems or circumstances. Having age-appropriate books in the home is essential to a child’s development but having enough age-appropriate books readily available can be a challenge. You can spend time at your local library and/or visit online at Cuyahoga County Public Library or Cleveland Public Library. Here are some additional resources for accessing books for your child:

Kindergarten Book List
Here is a list of some of our favorite Kindergarten Readiness books at Starting Point 

Imagination Library
Free books for all Ohio children until age 5: enroll today!

KINDERGARTEN CLUBS and Young Scholars Academy:

Join Kindergarten Clubs– If your child is 4 or 5 and hasn’t attended preschool or a childcare program, the Cuyahoga County public library (CCPL) and the Cleveland Public Library will help you and your child get ready for kindergarten. You can find more information about Kindergarten Clubs and CPL’s Young Scholars Academy here:


What is UPK?

UPK is Cuyahoga County’s award-winning Universal Prekindergarten Program. UPK helps 3-5 year olds in Cuyahoga County access high-quality preschool programming.

UPK programs meet the gold standard of quality, offer scholarships to help families afford programming and support the whole family.

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