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National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has announced that initial research with its nursery members has revealed that the majority do not wish to see large-scale change with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). However, one of the key areas that nurseries have said needs addressing is the level of red-tape under the framework.

NDNA has conducted research with a focussed group of nurseries in England who represented a total of over 400 settings to gather initial feedback following the announcement of the review. This will be supported by national consultation events on 29 September in Leeds and 30 September in London so that members can attend to debate the review and feed into NDNA’s response on behalf of the sector. However, this initial research exercise has revealed a high level of support for the EYFS, with 83% saying that they felt that the EYFS supported children to get the best start. NDNA has already shared some of these initial findings with those leading the review prior to submitting a full response.

Most shared that they felt that the EYFS was a good tool that supported them to deliver high-quality care and early learning for children. Top priorities included looking at how to reduce red-tape and administration but avoiding any wide-scale changes.

Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of NDNA comments: “Although this is early research, it does reflect the overall mood of the sector which is keen to ensure that the success of the EYFS is maintained. However, nurseries would also like to explore ways that some of the administration around the framework can be reduced. Most of our members shared that it had been very successful for them, and were keen to continue with it. Of course, there are some identified issues, especially around administration and reporting and the review is also an opportunity to make the EYFS work better for children, families and providers. It is vital that the sector has a strong voice and government receives the widest possible range of views and we would urge all nurseries both to submit their own responses and share their views with NDNA. We are receiving clear signals about the positives of the EYFS, and recommend government focuses on refining and improving the EYFS rather than introducing radical change.”

Key results from the research include:

  • Over four in five (83%) felt that the EYFS was effective in supporting children to get the best start
  • 79% felt that it offered an inclusive approach
  • 79% felt that all providers should be required to follow the same standards, indicating the wide support for a single framework

The majority commented that assessment of children was critical for early intervention, and that the EYFS allowed practitioners to plan for next steps.

The volume of paperwork, both in terms of reporting for transition to school and to the local authority, was the biggest concern of NDNA member nurseries.

Source: NDNA

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