Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets the standards for how children from birth to 5 years will learn and develop. The EYFS promotes teaching and learning to ensure a child’s readiness for school. It also provides a good foundation for their future progress through school and life.

All Ofsted registered early years providers, must follow the EYFS framework. This allows all children to receive the same standard of early education.

Guiding principles

The 4 guiding principles that should shape practice in early years settings are: 

  1. Every child is a unique child, who is always learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships 
  3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  4. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

My childs learning

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

The 3 prime areas are: 

  1. Communication and Language 
  2. Physical Development 
  3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Early Years Providers must also support your child in 4 specific areas, through which the 3 prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  1. Literacy 
  2. Mathematics 
  3. Understanding the World 
  4. Expressive Arts and Design 

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are also suited to your child’s unique needs.

EYFS Assessments

Age 2 - progress check

When your child is between the age of 2 and 3, practitioners must review their progress, and provide you with a short-written summary of their development in the prime areas. This progress check must identify their strengths, and any areas where their progress is less than expected.

If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support your child’s future learning and development involving you and other professionals such as, the provider’s Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator or health professional, as appropriate. 

Age 5 - Assessment at the end of the EYFS 

In the final term of the year in which your child reaches 5, the EYFS Profile must be completed for your child. The Profile provides you, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of your child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1. The Profile must reflect: ongoing observation; all relevant records held by the setting; discussions with you, and any other adults whom the teacher or you judge can offer a useful contribution.  

All the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year (year 1) will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it.

The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities.  Maintained nursery schools and other providers who receive funding from the local authority to deliver early education places must have regard to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice.  Maintained nursery schools, nurseries and pre-schools, must identify a member of staff to act as Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator