The Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten: Parent, Teacher, and Administrator Perspectives


  • Virginia E. Vitiello University of Virginia
  • Nica Kyra N. Basuel
  • Emily S. White
  • Jessica E. Whittaker
  • Erik A. Ruzek
  • Robert C. Pianta



public preschool, kindergarten, transition practices, fade out, school readiness


The present study aimed to identify commonalities and points of divergence in the ways that parents, teachers, and administrators characterize children’s transition from public pre-K into kindergarten within a large, diverse school district. A wide range of transition practices were in use across the district, including practices designed to educate parents, connect pre-K and kindergarten stakeholders, train teachers, and provide transition experiences to children. Transition experiences were not uniform across programs, though. Using a consensual qualitative coding approach, we identified three crosscutting themes related to pre-K transitions: (1) pre-k programs and staff invest significant time and effort in supporting successful transitions; (2) preschool programs’ school readiness efforts often center on the “mechanics†of the transition, like completing paperwork and teaching children basic school behaviors; and (3) there are concerns about a lack of alignment between pre-K and kindergarten in terms of readiness, behavioral expectations, and learning goals.

Author Biography

Virginia E. Vitiello, University of Virginia

Research Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education





Research Articles