Last week saw the announcement by the Department for Education that they were launching a review into the Early Years Foundation Stage. This has been met with a very mixed response by the sector, as despite a lot of reservations when the new curriculum was introduced, we have all worked really hard over the last 2 years to embed the new systems and to make staff confident with the record keeping and observations that are required. The main feeling that I am picking up on is one of ‘just leave us alone’! The sector has seen so much change over the last few years, that to be honest, we would just like to be left to recover from the constant tinkering and actually feel that we can move forward on our own, without yet another initiative being introduced. I have a great deal of sympathy for the school sector, whom I know have the same issues.
I have sat on a committee with Dame Claire Tickell, who is heading up the EYFS review, and have always thought her to be an extremely intelligent and fundamentally sensible individual, with a real passion for ensuring children get the best start in life. I hope she will use this approach to tackle the review which Sarah Teather, the Minister, has appointed her to run. Even better, perhaps she will manage to throw into the mix the crucial fact that the EYFS itself is not our major problem in the childcare sector, but that the elephant in the corner is the Single Funding Formula; if this is not resolved properly and swiftly, there will not be many childcare providers left to deliver the EYFS, however it is amended.