What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

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EYFS stands for Early Years Foundation Stage. In a nutshell, it sets out the minimum standards for Early Years providers to make sure children are able to learn and develop properly, and that they will be kept safe from harm, in a suitable environment whilst doing so. EYFS must be followed by childcare providers for children under the age of 5.

EYFS only applies to childcare providers in England and is broken down into two sections:

1) Welfare and 2) Learning and Development.

For the Welfare section, it ensures the following:

  • Staff have undergone the proper checks before working with children
  • The facilities and all the equipment are safe for children to use
  • Children are protected against abuse- providers must attend safeguarding training and follow “Working together to safeguard children”
  • Children have access to a good quality environment (eg outdoor space)
  • Staff are properly trained to care for children
  • Information is kept confidential
  • Complaints are dealt with appropriately

EYFS has 7 key areas of Learning and Development around which activities should be based:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Expressive art and design
  • Understanding the World

Who does EYFS affect?

To continue to be a registered childcare provider, childcare settings in England must demonstrate that they follow the Welfare and Learning & Development requirements set down by the EYFS.

Childcare settings include – nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, after school and breakfast clubs, holiday playschemes, Sure Start Children’s Centres and reception classes in schools.

How is it monitored?

Each child at a nursery or other childcare setting is normally assigned a “key person”, who will be responsible for monitoring and recording that particular child’s development.

Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents. Specially adapted software such as Dayshare is normally used to capture the child’s daily activities by the key person and share it with their main carers.

Where can I find out more about EYFS?

Take our online course “Introduction to EYFS“. 


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