Guidance on induction and transition in pre-school education and Year 1 of primary school

Traditionally, many pre-school settings and primary schools have adopted a staggered or phased settling in period for children, building up to a full pattern of attendance sometime during the first term. Although settling in times are at the discretion of each school and pre-school, this varies across and between settings.

Learning to Learn

Learning to Learn - A Framework for Early Years Education and Learning includes an action for the Department of Education to issue guidance on reducing the length of settling in time for pre-school and Year 1 to take account of the child’s previous experience. The overall aim of the action is to minimise the settling in period to ensure that all children are settled into, and experience, the full or part time day in pre-school settings and Year 1 of primary school as early as possible or appropriate to a child’s individual needs from the beginning of September each year.

The following documents provide guidance to all statutory and non statutory pre-school education providers and primary schools regarding the arrangements for the induction and transition of children to pre-school education and Year 1 of primary school.


This circular sets out guidance on induction and transition for Pre-School Education and Primary 1.


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