A free service for families who have children with special needs
living in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties of California
Transition at Age Three

When your child turns three...What’s next?

Transition is a time in your child’s life when he or she moves from the Early Start Program to another appropriate program (for example, from early intervention to a preschool program) or when your child no longer needs services.

In early intervention, transition occurs whenever your child’s services change to better meet both of your needs.

Transition takes place when your baby first leaves the hospital to go home, when moving from an infant home-based service to a toddler group, when moving from a toddler program into a preschool, or when your child no longer needs any early intervention services. This can occur at anytime before age three. However, when your child turns three years old, responsibility for providing needed services changes from the Early Start Program to other programs in the community. This may be a major change for you and your child.

Planning for transition requires your participation.

Decisions regarding your child cannot be made without you, no change can be made in the Individual Family Service Plan(IFSP) without your consent. In creating the transition plan, you have the opportunity to help determine the answers to the following questions:

When will transition planning start?
What program changes will be necessary?
What is needed for my child and how will this be decided?
What services are available?
What are the options?
What will my family’s new rights and responsibilities be?
How and when will the transition occur?

Planning for the transition before age three is required in the Early Start Program and should begin three to six months before your child turns three.

The IFSP must include the steps to be taken in assuring a smooth transition to the next services. Beginning to prepare at that time will simplify the process later. Information and training on the differences in programs and planning processes, documents, and rights are available from the Early Start Family Resource Network (ESFRN)and your Infant Service Coordinator.


Adapted from: Starting Out Together: An Early Intervention Guide for Families, California Department of Developmental Services, 1997.
A complete Transition Guidebook, designed to help you through the steps of Transition, is available in English and Spanish at no cost. To request this information, call (800) 974-5553.