Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (PA-ECE) 11: Transition

Teaching staff work with parents and children to plan for orderly transitions.
2020 Edition




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for transitioning to another classroom or age group
  • Procedures for transitioning to another school or program
  • Sample letters or other materials provided to parents whose children are transitioning to another classroom or age group or transitioning out of the program
  • Policy and procedures for removing a child from care provided to parents upon enrollment
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe: 
    1. arrival and pick-up times
    2. transitions in the classroom


PA-ECE 11.01

Parents and children receive assistance with managing transitions between the home and the child care setting.
Examples: Implementation of this standard can include helping the parent or child cope with daily drop-offs and/or departures, and being sensitive to parents or children who are struggling with the idea of using out-of-home care for the first time.


PA-ECE 11.02

Teaching staff promote smooth transitions throughout the day by ensuring:
  1. transitions are well-planned;
  2. children receive advance notice; and
  3. activities are long enough to promote sustained play.


PA-ECE 11.03

When the child needs to transition to another classroom or age group within the agency, the current teacher:
  1. engages parents in a discussion of the child’s developmental needs and the reason for the transition;
  2. provides parents with general information on the transition process;
  3. arranges opportunities for the child to visit the new classroom and meet teaching staff and peers prior to the transition; and
  4. shares information with the new teacher.


PA-ECE 11.04

When the child needs to transition to school or another agency, teaching staff:
  1. engage parents in a discussion of the child’s developmental needs and most suitable options;
  2. provide parents with general information on transitioning from the program;
  3. share information with other providers with the parents’ consent; and
  4. notify collaborating service providers that the child has transitioned from the program with the parents’ consent.


PA-ECE 11.05

The agency has a systematic process for removing children from care when it can no longer meet a family’s needs including referring families to local resources such as child care resource and referral.
Examples: Reasons why an agency may no longer be able to meet the needs of the family include non-payment, when special needs arise that the agency can’t meet with reasonable accommodation, or a change in work schedules that the agency cannot accommodate.