Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. 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 success. 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. Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.In 2014 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
- Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
- There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
When your child is 2
At some point after your child turns 2, the professionals working with your child will provide you with a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:
- communication and language;
- physical development; and
- personal, social and emotional development.
This is called the progress check at age 2.
This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).