Introduction to Transition from Part C to Part B

There are many transitions in the life of a young child: from hospital to home, from home to childcare, from childcare to preschool or community activities, and from preschool to kindergarten. For children with disabilities an additional transition occurs when a child is ready to move from infant toddler services (Part C) to preschool special education services (Part B) at age three.

Research indicates that children with disabilities experience the same problems in transitions as children who are developing typically, but, often to a more significant degree. (Edelman, 2005, p. 3)

How do professionals support more consistent implementation of effective transition practices? In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the research and recommended practices associated with transition (Sandall, Hemmeter, Smith & McLean, 2005; Hanson, 2005; Rous & Hallam, 2006). Still, a recent United States Government Accountability Office report (2005) indicates that multiple challenges persist in transitioning children from Part C to Part B. Some of the continuing challenges in Kansas include:

  • Collaborative sharing of assessment information for eligibility determination;
  • Limited family options for inclusive services within communities;
  • Lack of formal procedures between agencies to support ongoing communication and collaboration during the transition process;
  • Families reporting they do not have an adequate understanding of the transition process; and
  • Service providers who are knowledgeable about recommended practices that support an effective transition process.

Information included on this web page addresses the current process of transition for children with disabilities and their families from Part C to Part B services in Kansas. There are four core components of an effective transition process. These components serve as organizers for the main sections of the transition information web page:

  • Formalizing structures for developing, implementing, and evaluating the transition;
  • Data collection and analysis;
  • Effective, evidence-based transition practices for children and families; and
  • Application of evidence based practices to support continuous improvement.


Edelman, L. (2005). Supporting successful transitions: Do we have the commitment? Resources & Connections, 4(1), p. 2-­‐9.

Hanson, M. J. (2005). Ensuring effective transitions in early intervention. In M. J. Guralnick (Ed.). Developmental systems approach to early intervention. Baltimore: Brookes.

Harbin, G., Rous, B., Peeler, N., Schuster, J., & McCormick, K. (2007, December). Desired family outcomes of the early childhood transition process: Research Brief #5. Lexington, KY: National Early Childhood Transition Center, University of Kentucky.

Rosenkoetter, S. E., Hains, A. H., & Fowler, S. A. (1994). Bridging early services for children with special needs and their families: A practical guide for transition planning. Baltimore: Brookes.

Rous, B., & Hallam, R. (2006). Tools for transition in early childhood: A step-­‐by-­‐step guide for agencies, teachers, and families. Baltimore: Brookes.

Rous, B., Hallam, R., Harbin, G., McCormick, K., & Jung, L. (2007). The transition process for young children with disabilities: A conceptual framework. Infants and Young Children, 20(2), 135-­‐149.

Rous, B., Myers, C.T. & Stricklin, S. (2007). Strategies for supporting transitions for young children with special needs. Journal of Early Intervention, 30(1), 1-18.

Sandall, S., Hemmeter, M., Smith, B., & McLean, M. (2005). DEC recommended practices: A comprehensive guide for practical application in early intervention/early childhood special education. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

United States Government Accountability Office. (2005, December). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Education should provide additional guidance to help states smoothly transition children to preschool. Retrieved December 8, 2009

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