2nd Edition

Understanding Transitions in the Early Years Supporting Change through Attachment and Resilience

By Anne O'Connor Copyright 2018
    182 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    There are many transitions that children experience before they are five, including the first major transition from home to an early years setting. Successive changes can have a serious impact on young children and stress, separation and insecure attachments can affect not only a child’s emotional health but also cognitive and intellectual development.

    Featuring new material on provision for two year olds, school readiness, and families and transitions, this thought-provoking text explains why transitions matter and provides practical guidance on how to support young children’s developing emotional resilience and equip them to embrace change in the future. Aimed at practitioners and students, this fully-updated second edition:

    • draws together evidence from neuroscience, attachment theory, child development and childcare practices;
    • provides a context for practitioners to empathise with children and families as they relate to their own understanding of the impact of change and transition;
    • looks at ways to reduce the number of transitions including the key person approach, and;
    • offers guidance and practical strategies for practitioners, managers and head teachers for supporting children through transitions.

    Including case studies, examples of good practice and questions for reflection, Understanding Transitions in the Early Years emphasises the little things that practitioners can do for the individual children in their care, helping them to feel secure and confident when dealing with change.




    1. Attachment theory and transitions

    2. Brain development and the impact of transitions

    3. A ‘Patchwork of Services’ – why do young children experience so many transitions?

    4. Reflecting on our own experience of transition

    5. Strategies for reducing transitions in the early years

    6. Strategies to support children’s well-being during transition


    References and Further Reading



    Anne O’Connor is an Early Years Consultant, UK. She has authored numerous articles for Nursery World including ‘All About Transitions’ which was included in the resource materials for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2008).

    Jan Marks, University of Chester, UK The issue of transitions is a key area in the Early Years sector, as such is always considered to be a current issue. This is a worthwhile and useful book, examining the areas of transition in a way that students and practitioners can understand. It has a wealth of information within it and I think that it would be useful to keep it current.

    Margaret Edgington, Early Years Consultant, UK It is a very useful and important book on a topic that is often skimmed over on training courses. Anne O’Connor is well known for her writing in Nursery World and for her training and consultancy – she is known to be an excellent practitioner and this will make her book attractive to many prospective readers. I also think her book should be marketed to those in the health and social work professions. Yes [to publish], this is an important book.

    Lyn Trodd, University of Hertfordshire, UK I liked the approach and tone of it. It is down to earth and practical, entirely readable and seeks to communicate with the reader rather than confuse them. A particular strength is the seamless integration of practice with theory. It feels very natural for the reader to move between and link examples of practice and theories. It is an excellent introduction to the topic of Transitions.