The Early Years Foundation Stage outlines the standards which all early years providers must meet. The EYFS is a really important stage of your child’s development. The first five years of a person’s life is filled with so much learning, development and world exploration so it is vital this stage is nurtured and developed well, including lots of play, excitement, security, activity, support and adventure.
This stage also prepares children for school.
Everyone who provides a service within the EYFS must follow the EYFS Framework.
This framework was established in order to help professionals working in the EYFS. It outlines legal welfare requirements, seven areas of learning and development, assessments which need to be completed and which are designed to tell you about your child’s progress, the expected stages (known as the Early Learning Goals) your child should reach by age 5; usually at the end of Reception year.
Seven Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS Framework sets out seven key areas of learning and development. These are broken into prime areas and specific areas.
In the EYFS children should mostly develop within the 3 prime areas:
Communication and Language
This includes listening and attention, Understanding and Speaking
This includes moving and handling and health and self-care
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This includes self confidence and self awareness, making relationships and managing feelings and behaviour
The prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
Specific AreasAs children grow older and develop, the prime areas will help them develop skills in the four specific areas. These areas are:
Including reading and writing
Including numbers and shape, space and measures
Understanding the World
Including people and communities, the world and technology
Expressive Arts and Design
Including being imaginative and exploring and using media and materials
These seven areas are used by EYFS professionals to plan your child’s learning and activities. The EYFS workers will ensure activities are tailored to your child’s age and stage and unique requirements and needs. However, please do not worry about a child having a curriculum at an early age; the framework is flexible and adapted to your child at every stage.
You can find out about the quality of your child’s childminding setting or other childcare setting by looking at the setting’s Ofsted inspection report. This can be found by visiting: www.ofsted.gov.uk
Knowing Your Child’s Progress
You should always have unlimited access to information regarding your child’s development when it comes to their progress. EYFS professionals will keep Unique Stories which detail your child’s learning, observations and evaluations with plans of how to help support your child and most provide a daily recording of your child’s activities; this usually includes information such as your child’s meals, nappy changes, brief synopsis of their activities, whether any medication was administered and so on.
It is important for parents to feel a part of their chid’s growth and development throughout the times their child(ren) are in an EYFS setting. There are many ways this can be achieved and in relation to the EYFS Framework there are two specific documents which must be completed. These are:
The 2 Year ReviewAt some point after your child turns two years old, the professionals working with your child must give you a written summary of how your child is progressing within the three prime areas of learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This review illustrates areas where your child is exceeding expectations, progressing in line with the expected stage and any areas which may need a little more support and guidance. It should also detail how parents or carers can work with the key person to boost the help and input your child is receiving.
The 5 Year Review: EYFS ProfileThis happens at the end of the EYFS period which is usually at the end of your child’s Reception year in school. Teacher’s complete an assessment which details what they have observed over a period of time in which they have cared for your child.
This profile should include information from your as a parent as you are the expert when it comes to your child. You will have the opportunity to note the things you have seen your child accomplish as well as some information about your child such as their likes and dislikes.
The information is gathered in order to ascertain how your child is progressing within the seven areas of development.
The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.