What is the EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the statutory standards that all early years providers must meet.
The EYFS aims to provide:
- quality and consistency in all early years settings
- a secure foundation for all children for good progress through school and life
- partnerships between different practitioners
- partnerships between parents or carers and practitioners
- equality of opportunity for all children
The EYFS Framework describes how early years practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning. The framework defines how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child accomplishes the most they can in their earliest years of life.
All early years providers must complete an EYFS profile for each child in the final term of the year in which they turn 5. For most children this is the reception year in primary school.
The main purpose is to provide an accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS. The profile describes each child’s attainment against 17 early learning goals, together with a short narrative about their learning characteristics.
The four themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- 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
- 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.
The four principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage are:
- From birth, every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
- The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates; all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. These areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The four specific areas are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design