Australia’s national education evidence body

Transitions to school for children with disability or developmental delay

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Transitioning to school and between educational settings is a significant milestone for children and families. Successful transitions lead to better outcomes for children and enhance continuity of learning and development. A successful transition occurs when a child and their family feel a sense of belonging in their new environment.

Educators, teachers and school and service leaders are uniquely placed to support children and families in establishing and maintaining a sense of belonging at critical transition points.

You can use the evidence-based practices presented in this guide to support children with disability or developmental delay as they transition to their first year of school. It is designed to help services and schools work together to achieve more successful transitions.

The guide is organised into two distinct categories:

Many ECEC services and schools already plan for transitions with a child-centred approach and draw on collaborative partnerships to enhance the process. However, many educators and teachers would like to gain a better understanding of how these practices look in action.

Some of the examples offered here may not apply in all contexts or be appropriate for all children. Reasonable adjustments should be made where necessary to ensure appropriate support is provided for children with disability or developmental delay and to accommodate families across different contexts and cultures.

To find out more about the research and evidence behind this practice guide, see our evidence summary.

Collaborative partnerships

Child-centred approaches

Our transitions resources were developed in partnership with Monash University AERO appreciates the valuable input from the Transitions Project Advisory Group (PAG) members and the Practitioner Working Group (PWG).


Publication date
7 August 2023
Last updated
18 September 2023
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