Entry to school represents a major threshold in a child's life. It marks an important transition into the formal education system at a critical stage in early child development. Whether the child has remained at home until starting school or has participated in preschool programs, planning for entry to school can support the child's long-term success.

Four- and five-year-olds entering school in Ontario today have access to Kindergarten. The program is designed to provide a strong foundation for learning in early years. All children, including those with special education needs, have the right to attend school from the beginning of the school year following registration in the program.

To ensure a smooth transition to school for children with special education needs, schools should have in place transition-planning processes. The question of the continuation of existing support may be considered when the parents first discuss their child's enrolment with the principal. Parents and community resource persons should be encouraged to contact the principal at an early stage prior to enrolment, in order to give the principal time to consult with appropriate board personnel about resources and programming.

For all students, it is important to plan entry to school. For children with special education needs, however, entry to school is more complex, and additional careful planning and coordination is required. Further information about planning for this key transition can be found later in this part of the guide, in the Transition Planning section.