As childcare providers, you may have heard the term EYFS being used, but what exactly is it? In this guide, we’ll explore EYFS meaning, its principles, areas of learning, welfare requirements, and much more.
EYFS, or Early Years Foundation Stage, is a statutory framework that sets the standards for the learning goals, development, and welfare of all children from birth to the age of five in early years settings in England. The EYFS was established under the ChildCare Act of 2006 and is overseen by the Department for Education.
EYFS applies to a wide range of early years providers, including childminders, day nurseries, playgroups and holiday play-schemes, breakfast and after-school clubs, school reception and nursery classes, and Sure Start Children’s Centres.
The EYFS is built on four main principles:
According to the EYFS statutory framework, there are seven areas of learning and social and emotional development that early years providers must promote. These are:
In addition to the seven areas of learning and development, EYFS sets out requirements that early years providers must meet to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of children in their care. These include:
As part of the EYFS, early years providers must keep a record of each child’s progress, which is known as the “learning journey.” This record should include observations, assessments, and samples of the child’s work, and it should be shared with parents and carers regularly. The learning journey should be used to inform the child’s next steps in learning and development.
The EYFS also sets out “early learning goals” for each of the seven areas of learning. These goals describe what most children are expected to know and be able to do by the end of the reception year (the year in which children turn five). Early years providers should use these goals to plan activities and experiences that support children in reaching these goals.
The EYFS also includes welfare requirements that early years providers must follow to ensure that children are kept safe and healthy. These requirements include things like:
The EYFS is part of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This framework sets out the legal requirements that all early years providers must follow.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the organization responsible for inspecting early years settings in England to ensure that they are meeting the EYFS requirements. The Ofsted inspection handbook sets out what inspectors will look for during an inspection, including how early years providers are implementing the EYFS.
The EYFS emphasizes the importance of building relationships and partnerships with parents, carers, and other professionals. Early years providers must work with parents and carers to support each child’s learning and development, and they must also collaborate with other professionals, such as health visitors, to ensure that each child’s needs are met.
In conclusion, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a framework that sets out the learning, development, and welfare requirements for children from birth to the age of five in England. The EYFS includes seven areas of learning and development, and it emphasizes the importance of building relationships and partnerships with parents, carers, and other professionals. Early years providers must follow the statutory framework and meet the welfare requirements set out in the EYFS, and they are inspected by Ofsted to ensure that they are meeting these requirements.