Introduction Purpose and aims 2 Context and legal responsibilities 2 About this document 3 A principled approach 4 Setting the standards Providing for equality of opportunity Creating the framework for partnership working Improving quality and consistency Laying a secure foundation for future learning 4 4 5 5 5 Section 2 – Learning and Development Requirements Overview of the areas of learning and development 7 The early learning goals and educational programmes Personal, Social and Emotional Development Communication, Language and Literacy Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
Knowledge and Understanding of the World Physical Development Creative Development 7 8 8 9 10 11 11 The assessment arrangements Assessment during the EYFS 12 `12 Assessment at the end of the EYFS – the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile 12 Assessment requirements 13 Section 3 – Welfare Requirements Overview of the welfare requirements 15 Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare Suitable people Suitable premises, equipment and environment Organisation Documentation 17 24 25 32 33 Section 4 – Other information Other legal duties 35 Competency in English 35 Exemptions Inspection and regulation Local Authorities
Where to go for help 35 36 36 37 Appendix 1 Assessment Scales Appendix 2 Specific requirements for qualifications and ratios of adults to children SECTION 1 – INTRODUCTION Purpose and aims 1. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that provision will keep their children safe and help support them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework that provides that assurance. 2. The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well-being by: setting the standards for the learning, development and care young children should experience when they are attending a setting outside their family home, ensuring that every child makes progress and that no child gets left behind; promoting equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice and ensuring that every child is included and not disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability; creating the framework for partnership working between parents and professionals, and between all the settings that the child attends; improving quality and consistency in the early years sector through setting a universal set of standards which apply to all settings, ending the distinction between care and learning in the existing frameworks, and providing the basis for the inspection and regulation regime; and laying a secure foundation for future learning through learning and development which is planned around the individual needs of the child, and informed by the use of ongoing observational assessment. Context and legal responsibilities 3. The EYFS is part of a comprehensive package flowing from the ten year childcare strategy Choice for parents, the best start for children and the landmark Childcare Act 2006.
The Act provides the context for the delivery of the EYFS and taken together with the other elements of the strategy, the EYFS will be central to the delivery of the new duties on improving outcomes and reducing inequalities. 4. The EYFS builds on the significant recent developments in early years curriculum and standards. Practitioners will recognise continuity with the principles, pedagogy and approach of the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, the Birth to Three Matters framework, and the National Standards for Under 8s Day Care and Childminding. These three frameworks are replaced by the EYFS and will be repealed. 5. The EYFS will be given legal force through an Order and Regulations made under the Childcare Act 2006.
From September 2008 it will be mandatory for all schools and providers in Ofsted registered settings attended by young children – that is children from birth to end of the academic year in which a child has his or her fifth birthday. The term “early years provider” includes maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools, and childcare registered by Ofsted on the Early Years Register, all of which are required to meet the EYFS requirements. . 6. It is the legal responsibility of these providers to ensure that their provision meets the learning and development requirements, and complies with the welfare regulations, as required by section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006. About this document 7. This document forms part of the statutory framework for the EYFS.
It sets out the learning and development requirements (the early learning goals; the educational programmes; and the assessment arrangements) in Section 2 and the welfare requirements (safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare; suitable people; suitable premises, equipment and environment; organisation; and documentation) in Section 3. The learning and development requirements are given legal force by the Early Years Foundation Stage (Learning and Development Requirements) Order 2007 made under section 39 (1) (a) of the Childcare Act 2006. The welfare requirements are given legal force by Regulations made under section 39 (1) (b) of the Childcare Act 2006. Together, the Order, the Regulations and the Statutory Framework document make up the legal basis of the EYFS. This document has statutory basis by virtue of section 44(1) of the Childcare Act 2006. 8.
Providers must ensure that their early years provision complies with the learning and development requirements, and the welfare requirements. In addition, this document contains statutory guidance issued pursuant to Section 44 (4) of the Childcare Act 2006. All providers must have regard to this guidance, which means they must take it into account and, if they decide to depart from it, they must have clear reasons for doing so and be able to demonstrate to the Chief Inspector of Schools in England (Ofsted) that their alternative approach achieves the same ends as the guidance conveys. 9. This document is referred to as the EYFS Statutory Framework and is part of a package of materials which comprise: this document (legal requirements including the Learning and Development Requirements Order and the Welfare Regulations and statutory guidance); EYFS Practice Guidance (contains the learning and development grids, non-statutory guidance, additional advice and information); and EYFS resources for providers and practitioners (CD-ROM, poster and Principles into Practice cards). A Principled Approach 10. The EYFS principles which guide the work of all practitioners are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes, as set out below: A Unique Child Positive Relationships Enabling Environments Learning and Development 11.
These four guiding themes underpin effective practice in the EYFS, put the requirements into context, and describe how practitioners should support the development, learning and care of young children. Each theme is supported by four commitments which describe how the principles can be put into practice, and these are expanded on in the EYFS Principles into Practice cards. 12. The four themes also underpin the five aspirations set out in paragraph two which tie into the Every Child Matters Outcomes. Setting the standards 13. The EYFS sets the standards for providers to enable them to reflect the experience which many parents give their children at home. As parents do, providers should deliver individualised learning, development and care which enhances their child’s development and gives them the best possible start in life.
Every child should be supported individually to make progress at their own pace and children who need extra support to fulfil their potential should receive special consideration. All providers have an equally important role to play in children’s early years experiences – for example a childminder who sees a child for two hours a day should consider what a child’s individual needs are at that time of day, and ensure that the provision they deliver is both appropriate to those needs and complementary to the education and care which the child receives in its other setting(s). All types of providers have the potential to deliver the EYFS to an excellent standard.
Providing for equality of opportunity 14. Providers have a responsibility to promote positive attitudes to diversity and difference – not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also so that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society in this respect. Practitioners should focus on each child’s individual learning, development and care needs: removing or helping to overcome barriers for children where these already exist; the early identification of and response to needs which could lead to development of difficulties; and stretching and challenging all children. 15.
All children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development. Creating the framework for partnership working 16. Partnership working underpins successful delivery of the entire EYFS. Many children will receive education and care in more than one setting and in these cases practitioners must ensure effective continuity and coherence by sharing relevant information both with each other and with parents. Patterns of attendance should be a key factor in practitioners’ planning.
Early years practitioners also have a vital role to play in working with parents to identify learning needs and to respond quickly to any area of particular difficulty. It will regularly be appropriate for practitioners to work together with professionals from other agencies, such as local and community health services, or where children are in care to identify needs and use their knowledge and advice to provide the best learning opportunities and environments for all children. Improving quality and consistency 17. The EYFS brings together and simplifies the learning and development and welfare requirements, in addition to ending the distinction between care and learning and between birth-to-three and three-to-five provision.