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Early intervention, transition, early childhood special education, preschool


Transitions are widely acknowledged to present challenges for young children with special needs. In the US system, the transition from early intervention (EI; services for children aged 0–3) to early childhood special education services (ECSE; services for preschool children) is a process known to cause uncertainty and anxiety for families. This paper describes a transition class offered by a midwestern US EI agency; children receiving EI services are eligible to participate beginning at age 2;6. Agency personnel chart the children’s progress each week. For this study, researchers reviewed de-identified weekly progress reports for the 40 transition class participants who attended at least 6 class sessions. Class participants demonstrated highly significant changes across time in their tolerance for separation from parents/caregivers and their participation in structured class activities. These preliminary findings suggest that a structured class with familiar service providers may support young children in acquiring skills they will need for a successful transition to ECSE.

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This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


This article was published in Education 3-13, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2023.2233983.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.