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A model to promote a seamless transition from early intervention to the public preschool: A longitudinal study

Janet Spoerer Arndt, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study examines the efficacy of an innovative transition model program, which was designed to promote a seamless transition process from Early Intervention to the Public Preschool from the perspective of the children, the parents and the professionals. It explores the expectations and experiences of the children, parents and professionals as they proceed through the transition. An EI integrated class of nine toddlers, six with disabilities and three without disabilities between the ages of 24 and 28 months, participated in the program. An EI family therapist facilitated a parent support group which met at the same time as the EI transition class in the local public preschool. The school professionals observed the children and collaborated with the EI professionals while the children participated in the transition class. School professionals met with EI parents during the EI parent-support group meeting and had the opportunity to interact with EI parents and children before the transition meeting and their entrance into preschool. Data were collected from interviews, questionnaires, and videotaped observations of the children's classroom behavior. Parents were interviewed three times during the phases of the transition process—when children had home services only, when they participated in the transition class, and after they make the transition to preschool. Early Intervention professionals were given open-ended questionnaires before the transition took place. The EI professionals who participated in the transition of the children from the toddler class were given a second questionnaire. The school professionals completed an open-ended questionnaire after the transition. Children were observed in the transition class and in the preschool class in order to determine the effects of transition on their behavior. Data were coded and analyzed. The results revealed that families achieve a seamless transition (FAST) when the following components are in place: (1) effective communication and collaboration among parents, Early Intervention and school professionals, (2) consistency of people and places, (3) coordination of programming, and (4) support, trust, and encouragement between families, EI and school professionals. In sum, when agencies work together with parents and children, a seamless transition is more likely to occur for children, parents and professionals.

Subject Area

Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Arndt, Janet Spoerer, "A model to promote a seamless transition from early intervention to the public preschool: A longitudinal study" (2003). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3096262.