First 5 Transitions for Children Award

Closing Date: 21 February 2020

First 5 Transitions for Children Award

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Led by

This award category is sponsored under First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. A key objective of this Strategy is that ‘children will be supported in through transitions to and through ELC settings on onwards to primary school’.

The First 5 award aims to showcase elements of good practice in transitions for babies and children in early learning and care settings, and to illustrate the development of good quality transitions practices and policies by settings.

Babies and young children experience regular, daily, and major transitions in early learning and care settings, from their initial weeks in a setting, to their daily arrival and home time and daily care routines; and their transition from pre-school to big school. This award category provides settings with an opportunity to showcase how they work with families to support transitions for children in child-friendly, respectful, playful ways, minimise transitions for children in their daily routines in settings and foster child well-being, and the ways in which they consult with children, and work in partnership with parents and other settings to achieve positive transitions for children.

Early Childhood Ireland and the DCYA recognise that the single story submitted for this award may not feature all the potential transitions experiences for children and practices by services. The entry will just be judged using the criteria below that is most relevant to the content of the application.

Criteria for Short-listing and Judging

Please use the awards application form to demonstrate how the service has introduced a practice or process to:



  • Is open to developing relationships with parents and regularly communicates with parents about their child’s transitions and records this information.
  • Fosters relationships with other services that the child attends to ensure consistency for the child, e.g., childminders, healthcare professionals, schools.
  • Recognises the child’s transition to primary school as a shared responsibility between themselves, parents and primary schools.


  • Tailors strategies to support transitions to each child and supports each child to settle in their own way.
  • Supports children during daily transitions in child-friendly, playful ways and makes care routines playful, fun and not rushed.
  • Discusses transitions with children and parents prior to the move and makes sure that children are happy.


  • Knows the number of transitions there are every day and keeps them to a minimum for children.
  • Respects that the time required by children can differ greatly; consults with children whether they would like to change activity to enable a flow to children’s learning and engagement.


  • Assigns each child a key person to foster reliable and stable relationships, continuity of care and a secure base.
  • Minimises the movement of practitioners in and out of rooms and ensures there is always a familiar member of staff available.
  • Shares information between team members to ensure continuity and progression for the child and their learning and development.

Documentation and Supporting Evidence :

Opening and closing dates for awards applications

Opening Date: 6 January 2020
Closing Date: 21 February 2020

For more information on how to apply and the short-listing and judging process see here (click to page 2)

Submit An Application Today

Early Childhood Ireland

Funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, 2007-2015 Company Registration No: 506235
Charity No CHY: 19987
Registered Charity No: 20078904

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