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Learn More About Planning for Transitions

    Plan for Transitions

    An integral component of the IFSP is the Transition Plan, which outlines the steps to be taken as the child and family prepare to transition from Early Steps when their child turns 3 years old. Some children go to prekindergarten programs and receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA. Other children attend community-based programs or remain with their current primary caregiver. For some families, it might be the first time their child receives supports and services outside the home.   


    Transition Policies and Notification 


    Providers and service coordinators are required to begin planning for transition from Early Steps with families no later than 90 days before their child’s 3rd birthday. Recommended practices for transitions (Division for Early Childhood, 2014; Rous et al., 2020) suggest planning should occur earlier to ensure smooth transitions. Transition planning includes discussing options for services and supports the family and child might receive when they leave Early Steps.  Options include collaborations with the local school district prekindergarten program, Head Start, early education and care programs, or other decisions depending on the family's preferences and priorities. Early Steps must notify the local school district that the child might be eligible for Part B preschool services unless the family declines to send notification.  


    Florida's Early Steps State Office Transition Policy describes specific procedures and timelines for transition planning with families. Information about a family's choices and the actions taken by the Early Steps team are recorded in their IFSP Transition plan. 


    Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Process 


    The child’s Early Steps team is required to complete the COS process when the child enters Early Steps and again when they exit Early Steps. COS ratings should be determined collaboratively among team members. At exit from Early Steps, the team decides on a COS rating for each of the three global child outcome areas and whether the child has gained at least one skill since their previous rating. This information is essential for:  

    • Reporting child progress to the Early Steps State Office and the Office of Special Education Programs   

    • Providing information about a child’s current skills for schools, programs, or other service providers who will support the child and family after they leave Early Steps  

    • Serving as a launchpad for families to continue using the skills learned through FL-EPIC to support their child’s development and learning during everyday routines 


    More information about completing the COS process can be found in Gather Information About Child Skills and Functioning in Routines and the Early Steps COS Implementation Guide.

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