It’s a struggle: Transitioning children into kindergarten

White paper
Authors: Kelly M. Purtell, Hui Jiang, Laura M. Justice, Tzu-Jung Lin, & Jessica Logan

One of the earliest and most important transitions that children face is their entry to kindergarten. Using a questionnaire that surveyed kindergarten teachers, Crane Center researchers sought to learn more about kindergarten transition experiences – specifically, looking at five areas of transition difficulties, how common difficulties were, and which children were more likely to experience them. Their findings are synthesized in this white paper.


According to the kindergarten teachers surveyed, a majority (72%) said children had difficulty in at least one area of kindergarten transition.

Boys and children with individualized education plans were reported as more likely to have difficulty with the transition.

Difficulties also tended to co-occur, with some children experiencing several of the five identified difficulties with kindergarten transition.

More than one-half of children had at least some difficulties in being organized (56%), meeting academic demands (54%), working in groups (53%), and making friends (50%); 37% had challenges following schedules.

To read more about these findings, as well as key recommendations, see the full paper here.


Here are some sample tweets to get you started:

Twitter Bird_teal 400px

To understand more about children’s transition to kindergarten, @CraneCenterOSU researchers asked central Ohio kindergarten teachers to complete a transition difficulty questionnaire on students in the fall of their kindergarten year. See what they found:

Twitter Bird_purple 400px

One of the earliest transitions U.S. children experience is the one to formal schooling. @CraneCenterOSU researchers explored how adjusting to this new environment may be challenging for them:

Twitter Bird_teal 400px

In @CraneCenterOSU’s latest white paper, 72% of children experienced at least one of five difficulties during the transition to kindergarten:

Twitter Bird_purple 400px

“Interestingly, children were likely to either have no difficulties or all five of the difficulties. This suggests that the children who struggle academically in the transition are also the children who struggle socially in the classroom.” Read @CraneCenterOSU’s latest white paper:


DID YOU KNOW… that the Crane and Schoenbaum Centers have an entire body of work on the transition to kindergarten? From research to practitioner notes to tips for parents, the collective body of work aims to deepen our understanding and better support all children during this important transition.

Check out the full body of work here.