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EYFS - The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a document from government providing statutory and non statutory guidance for early years providers. Ofsted use these documents as part of the registration and grading process to ensure we are suitable to provide early years education and care.

The EYFS seeks to provide: • quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind • a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly • partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers • equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

The Learning and Development Requirements

The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover: • the areas of learning and development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings • the early learning goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five) • assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents and/or carers)


Your child's key person will provide an assessment when your child is approximately 2 years old to share with you and your Health Visitor.

An additional assessment will be made at the end of your child's Reception year. 

These assessments are to support tracking your child's progress and an opportunity to raise any concerns.

The safeguarding and welfare requirements

The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover the steps that providers must take to keep children safe and promote their welfare.

Overarching Principles 

These four guiding principles shape our practice at Forest Footsteps Childcare: 

* 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 (see below “the characteristics of effective teaching and learning” ) 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.

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

In planning and guiding children’s activities, we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

* playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’ 

* active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements 

* creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things


7 Areas of Learning and Development.


There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings.

All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.


These three areas, the prime areas, are:  

* communication and language

* physical development 

* personal, social and emotional development


Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

• literacy

• mathematics

• understanding the world

• expressive arts and design

We ensure our activities and experiences cover all these areas of learning and development by providing a stimulating and inviting learning environment; indoors and outside, observations on your child's progress and planning for your child's next steps.

Your child's progress will be tracked using the Development Matters-Non statutory curriculum guidance and the Birth to 5 Matters Guidance.  Both these documents show stages of a typical child's development. 

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