NDNA members urge Government to ‘Avoid huge change’ with EYFS


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

What are your thoughts on the EYFS? Can you suggest anything that you would like to see changed or reviewed? Drop your comments below to join the discussion!


5 thoughts on “NDNA members urge Government to ‘Avoid huge change’ with EYFS

  • September 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I think the NDNA under estimate the challanges faced by on the ground childminding staff – and that the view of Pam Godwin on the time taken is much more reflective.
    The EYFS framework is all very well for childcare centre managers – but we have found lone childminders working from home are really struggling.
    We have just launched a new EYFS planning software called EYFS Made Simple, which is designed to cut the ammount of time childminder spend on EYFS and make reporting to parents both easier and clearer.
    Our own research shows that 64% of childminders spend over 2 hours per week filling out EYFS forms (thats 12.5 working days per year) and that a full 60% would like to see the entire system either scrapped or undergo signifciant changes.
    The government review needs to take into account the views of the 60,000 indpendent childminders and not just the managerial heads of big nurseries and childcare corporations.

  • September 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I am fully in favour of the EYFS because I believe it has helped to raise standards throughout the early years sector. As a Montessorian I feel the EYFS, by placing the child at the centre of planning is completely compatible with the Montessori Method and I don’t at the present time feel the EYFS to be so ridgid that it excludes me from teaching as I have for the past 21 years.

    I agree that should a more ridgid statutory frame work which excludes methods and philosophies other than mainstream would be unwelcome.

    I am proud to demonstrate through our practice and method that the Montessori Method does indeed, work and encourage children well – many children who leave our setting are indeed meeting learning goals, by being provided with a high quality learning enviornment and qualified staff. The EYFS has raised the bar by highlighting for ALL what children deserve and should receive during their early years. It is just in my mind a shame that we send children from high qauality pre-schools with high staff ratios into a school environment when they are so young. We are one of the few countries who do this and it is proven that sending them into a school environment early does not guarantee better outcomes – many children are “let down” by our current education system. Research demonstrates clearly that children from other countries who don’t go into a school environment until they are 6 or 7 out perform our own children in every area of their learning by entry to secondary school. This is the real food for thought when considering change – SHOULD THE EYFS REALLY MEAN JUST THAT EARLY YEARS FROM BIRTH TO 5 IN SPECIALIST SETTINGS WHICH SUPPORT THIS UNIQUE PERIOD OF A CHILDS LIFE.
    Fiona Brissenden BA Hons., Mont Dip., EYP

  • September 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I feel K. Simpson may well have missed the initial part of the article from the NDNA. It did clearly state that it was ‘initial research’ from a ‘focused group’. And it did mention their members concerns regarding the Statutory Framework in the comment. “However, one of the key areas that nurseries have said needs addressing is the level of red-tape under the framework”.
    To dismiss the research of the NDNA as ‘small insignificant surveys’ does not help Simpson’s case. The NDNA is the major membership representative origination in England for daycare nurseries from all sectors of the industry and conducts its research in a professional and unbiased manner, they represent their members views not their own agenda!
    I can only hope that K Simpson as a NDNA member attends one of the two consultation events the NDNA are organising in Leeds and London on the 29th & 30th September, this is where they can argue their case and maybe have an influence on the outcome of the governments review of the EYFS.
    I do not necessarily disagree with Simpson’s concerns regarding the Statutory Framework but ask them not attack the NDNA just because they disagree with what other members are telling them to say.

  • September 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    My staff feel that the paper work required takes up too much time. Time that could be spent with the children to support their learning. In a setting that only has the children for 3 hour sessions a third of that time can be spent in writing. The EYFS gives clear guidelines but should not restrict staff innovations or the ability to allow the children to follow their interests even if they don’t fit in with the EYFS.

  • September 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I am extremely concerned that you are publicising small insignificant surveys about the EYFS rather than waiting for the review results. There is ample opportunity for people to make their views known through the official review – and NDNA is certainly not reflecting mine and many others views and are in danger of giving a very lop-sided view. What NDNA is calling ‘research’ is no more than a survey which can easily be selective in its choice of settings involved. To talk of the EYFS as ‘one thing’ is extremely misleading as there are two different strands to be considered. One is the ‘Guidance’ manual which can offer those who need it some helpful pointers about opportunities which can serve the needs of the children in nursery settings. The other is the ‘Statutory Framework’ for learning and development about which there are many questions and misgivings, because a mandatory framework for learning for pre-school children is considered unjustifiable on any grounds, especially with the current goals many of which are developmentally inappropriate and the rhetoric confused. It is untimely to say there is widespread support for a single framework and, as a Montessori headteacher I certainly require flexibility from the government so that I and others like me can continue to follow our own different approaches and philosphies and, thereby, offer freedom to parents to choose settings which reflect our own values. We either genuinely want to offer children in our care developmentally appropriate programmes, or we are in danger of missing this unique opportunity to minimise government control over what, how and when children develop and learn, thus claiming back the right of pre-school children to be enabled to be in charge of their own development as the ‘unique’ individuals they are, aided by committed and dedicated practitioners, whose expertise is in helping children to make sense of their own experiences. The report of your survey seems very premature and does not reflect a full enough picture of your members views, of which I am one. No one in their right minds should want to target very young children with legally required goals, many of which they are totally incapable of reaching. The statutory framework for learning & development needs to go and just the welfare requirements retained. Let’s give childhood back to our children and stop publicising surveys which run such a risk of giving a one-sided and highly questionable view!


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