Plan for Transitions


Planning is necessary to ensure a successful transition from Early Steps and can help set the stage for positive child and family outcomes after the child leaves the early intervention program.  Some children go to prekindergarten programs and receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA, while other children attend community-based programs or stay with their primary caregiver.  The transition out of Part C services is an important time for young children and their families, because it represents changes in service delivery.  For example, for some families it might be the first time their child receives supports and services outside the home. 

 

An integral component of the IFSP is the transition plan, which outlines the steps that will be taken as the child transitions from early intervention services to preschool or other community supports and services.  This transition must take place by the child’s 3rd birthday.  The service coordinator plays a key role in the transition from Early Steps. The service coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all steps in the transition planning process are completed in a timely manner according to state and federal policy, and that important transition processes are documented appropriately. In addition, the service coordinator is the "point person" during the transition, answering any questions the family, other team members, or the receiving program might have and coordinating the flow of information throughout the transition process. There are several important steps to ensure a smooth and timely transition.  Below are Florida’s policy guidelines and steps for transition planning for children exiting Early Steps because they are turning 3.  These policies are provided in detail in the Early Steps State Office Transition Policy.

 

Kids in sandpit


  1. Provide parents a copy of the Understanding Notification brochure.
    1. If the child became eligible for Early Steps before age 2, provide the Understanding Notification brochure prior to the IFSP or periodic review meeting closest in time to the child’s 2nd birthday.
    2. If the child became eligible for Early Steps after age 2, provide the Understanding Notification brochure on the date the child was determined eligible for Early Steps.
  2. Discuss notification and the opt-out option with parents.
    1. For children who became eligible for Early Steps before age 2, this discussion will occur at the IFSP meeting or periodic review closest to the child’s 2nd birthday.
    2. For children who became eligible for Early Steps after age 2, this discussion will occur at the initial IEP meeting.
  3. Provide notification to the local school district that the child might be eligible for Part B, unless the parents opt out of notification.  Notification information includes: (a) child’s name, (b) child’s date of birth, and (c) parent’s contact information.
    1. For children who became eligible for Early Steps before 27 months of age, notification must occur at least 9 months before the child’s 3rd birthday.
    2. For children who became eligible for Early Steps after 27 months of age, notification must occur within 30 calendar days of the initial IFSP meeting.
  4. Document notification in the IFSP transition plan (Form I ) information in the Early Steps data system.

  5. Get approval from the family to convene a transition conference with the Early Steps providers, the family, and the local school district.
  6. Convene a transition conference no less than 90 days before the child’s 3rd birthday. 
  7. Make a referral to the school district Prekindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities, Head Start, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, early care and education programs, or other community options as determined by the IFSP team.
  8. Document the referral in case notes and on the IFSP transition plan (Form I).
  9. If the child is eligible for Part B services and the Early Steps service coordinator or other Early Steps representative is invited to the initial IEP meeting, he or she must make a reasonable effort to attend and participate.
  10. Provide written prior notice to the family indicating termination of Early Steps.

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Supplemental Materials and Resources
Plan for the Transition

  1. Early Steps State Office Transition Policy
  2. Florida Understanding Notification brochure

Additional Resources for Plan for the Transition

Rous, B., Hallam, R., Harbin, G., McCormick, K., & Jung, L.A. (2007). The transition process for young children with disabilities. Infants and Young Children, 20(2), 135–148.


Rous, B., & Hallam, R. (2006). Tools for transition in early childhood: A step-by-step guide for agencies, teachers, and families. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

 

Learning Tool 1

Interactive Case Story

Read about and watch the experiences of a family, a service coordinator, and service providers from intake through transition as they enact the practices associated with the TEST toolkit components. Read their perspectives about the practices and processes.

Learning Tool 2

Case Story

Read about the experiences of a family, a service coordinator, and service providers from intake through transition. Learn more about how this Early Steps team enacted the practices associated with the TEST toolkit components.

Learning Tool 3

Video

See family members, service coordinators, and service providers in action as they use a variety of practices from the TEST toolkit components to support child and family outcomes.

Learning Tool 4

Documents

Use these documents, guides, and forms to support implementation or learn more about practices and processes associated with the TEST toolkit components.