Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
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 planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned 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 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 we 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)
The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise:
- the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes
- the early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the reception year
- the assessment requirements (when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers)
Development Matters, is the non-statutory curriculum guidance for the EYFS, which we use to support us in our delivery of the EYFS learning and development requirements.