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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

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 DfE have published a new guide for parents 'What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage' that guides parents* through what to expect with their child’s development. (please note that since the date of this publication, there has been an update to the EYFS in January 2024 - please see below for a summary of this update). 



The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) outlines what adults must do to help children learn and develop and to be healthy and safe. The EYFS includes seven areas of learning and development, split into three age bands:


- Birth to three

- 3-4

- 4-5 (the reception year in school)


In each band, there are suggestions about what your child may be doing, and how you can help them. It’s important to remember that children develop in different ways and at different rates. After each age band you will find top tips for fun, playful experiences that you and your child can do together at home.


*‘Parent’ is used to mean parents, carers and guardians.


Changes were made to the EYFS framework in January 2024 which aim to give settings more flexibility in how they utilise staff and to give more choice over how they operate. There have been a few changes to staff qualification requirements, safeguarding policies and procedures and paediatric first aid certificate requirements. There has also been a change in the requirement for settings to collect physical evidence to support assessments as this is no longer necessary. 

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