Aug 23, 2021

What is the EYFS and Why is it Changing?

Child reading book on the floor

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was originally launched in 2008. It is the statutory framework for all early years providers in England but it is held in high regard worldwide.  The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards that all early years providers must meet.

Early years providers in England who provide care and learning for children from birth to the end of reception class must comply with the EYFS Statutory Framework. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.

Ofsted regulate and inspect all early years providers against the safeguarding and welfare requirements and areas of learning to determine how well children are kept safe and healthy. From time to time the EYFS is updated and refreshed, so far this has happened in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

From September 2021, a revised EYFS will come into force. The key messages about the reforms include:

  • Reducing practitioner/teacher workload and needless paperwork to allow for more quality time and interactions with the children
  • Improving the outcomes of all children and addressing/reducing the disadvantage gaps
  • The importance of workforce knowledge and professional development to inform assessments. Reflect upon the need to assess every child’s development against ‘check lists’, saving formal steps of assessment for when they are necessary
  • Making early learning goals clearer and more aligned to Y1 curriculum

So, why are these changes happening?

To summarise the points above, the main reasons the EYFS is changing is to:

  • Improve outcomes at age 5, particularly in early language and literacy
  • Reduce workload such as unnecessary paperwork, so practitioners/teachers can spend more time with the children in their care

How is your nursery preparing for these changes?

In readiness for the changes coming into effect from September 2021, our nursery teams are working hard through external and in-house training – webinars, presentations, discussions, staff meetings, workshops, etc – to ensure we are fully prepared in meeting the standards of the new framework and that the children in our care have the best foundation to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

So, what do the changes mean to me as a parent/carer?

The safety of your child and the quality of the education provided will not change.

You may not see any changes in terms of the activities and opportunities on offer to your child/ren, however, you may notice that we are not physically recording as many observations and assessments of progress. Observations may appear as more of a photo snapshot of your child participating in activities.

Please be reassured that we will still be supporting your child’s development and responding to their interests.  We will be using our professional judgement to assess your child’s development during our daily interactions and activities.  The progress check at 2 years is still a mandatory assessment point and we will still share your child’s development and progress with you.

As a parent/carer, how can I help with my child’s learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.

Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. Making time every day doing things with your child such as singing and telling nursery rhymes, sharing a book, etc will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.

Try to speak to your child’s key person as often as possible about what your child has been doing, what they have enjoyed, what they need to be doing more of and what you can do at home.

Further reading/links

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