Education International
Education International

ECE: AFT study shows need for smoother transitions from pre-kindergarten to the elementary level

published 23 January 2012 updated 27 January 2012

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of EI’s affiliates in the USA, has published a study related to Early Childhood Education (ECE). This report concludes that a smoother transition from pre-kindergarten (pre-K) to the elementary (primary) level is indispensable to the long-term success of students. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable young learners.

The report, “Right from the Start: Transition strategies for developing a strong preK-3 continuum,” highlights many field-tested measures to building an effective, collaborative environment between the pre-K and elementary communities. The strategies are based on a presentation made at AFT’s 2011 TEACH Conference by expert Kristi Kauerz and her work at Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of Washington.

AFT President, Randi Weingarten, stresses in the introduction to the report: “Collaborative, thoughtful and intentional transitions to assist children leaving pre-K and entering kindergarten have been found to be especially beneficial to children from lower socio-economic circumstances.” These efforts, which are highlighted in profiles and case studies throughout the report, include placing pre-school classes under the roofs of elementary schools and linking community-based childcare centre programmes to elementary schools to ease the transition for parents and children.

EI Senior Coordinator, Dennis Sinyolo, added: “We welcome AFT’s study and the many examples of transition strategies for young children it gives. Quality early childhood education programmes provide a solid foundation for life-long-learning, including success in school.”

Meanwhile, in the EI European Region, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) is organising an ECE conference in Budapest, Hungary, on 20-21 February. This conference will mainly focus on the impact of the financial and economic crisis in the sector, and of European institutions’ policy initiatives, and review the ETUCE Policy on ECE. It is open to EI member organisations in Europe.

The full AFT study can be downloaded here.

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