The INSPIRE ACTION framework was developed to assist those responsible for administrative oversight of local early childhood special education programs to identify and celebrate strong program components and to identify those program components most in need of improvement. The development was sparked by recognition that many local program leaders (e.g., Directors of Special Education, elementary principals, some special education coordinators) have limited knowledge of early childhood special education and are unable to consistently determine the presence or absence of ECSE program quality.

As you look at the resources and tools provided here, consider:
  • What is the main focus and purpose of each resource?
  • How does this information align with what you currently know and do in your work with young children and families?
  • How will you integrate this information into your work?
  • How might you share or apply this information in working with: Children? Families? Colleagues?


Transition includes all activities necessary to ensure that the next setting is appropriate to meet the educational needs of young children and their families. It can occur at various times in a young child’s educational life. For purposes of this component, transition includes:

  • The period between two years, three months and two years, nine months in which the IFSP team plans the transition of the child from early intervention to services under Part B or to other community-based services.
  • Transition from ECSE to Kindergarten.
  • Transition necessary when a child moves from one ECSE setting or program to another based on parent choice, educational need or relocation of the family.
  • Transition necessary because of program structure. For example, transition between an evaluation team and the serving team or transition when administrative right of work assignment results in changes of the membership of service teams.

Professional Standards

Foundational Resources: Understand the Basics

Minnesota Department of Education

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
The ECTA website provides definitions of and resources regarding state guidance, policies, professional development materials, and other resources related to the transition at age three from early intervention to preschool special education and from preschool to kindergarten.

National Early Childhood Transition Center (NECTC)
The National Early Childhood Transition Center has a website full of resources related to early childhood transition. Although the center is no longer in existence, the resources available (research articles, webinars, toolkit, etc.) are still relevant.

Readiness Resources: Deepen Knowledge and Prepare to Implement

Early Childhood Transition Guidebook (for Parents)
Published in 2010, this guidebook provides definitions of the federal requirements of transition at age 3, information on what to expect, and how to prepare for transition.

Transitions to Kindergarten - Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Implementation Resources: Apply and Practice

PDF-Guided Resources and Support

Please contact your regional PDF if you have investigated all resources provided here, but continue to have questions or concerns related to this core component of INSPIRE ACTION.

If you have an additional resource that supports professional development in this core component, please share it with your regional PDF. Your participation in this site's continued growth is encouraged and welcome!