What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?
The EYFS is a framework to describe stages of children’s development from birth to five. Childminders are involved with this framework until the child starts full time education.
The EYFS describes how Childminders should work with children and their families to support their development and learning. It describes how children should be kept safe and cared for and ensure they achieve the most they can in their early years of life.
EYFS is based on the following four principles:
A Unique Child
Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or key person.
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and interconnected.
In order to implement this framework, Childminders need to have certain plans put into place. Each childminder will have different plans, but they will all be based on the same four principles.
All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.
There are assessments when a child is aged between 2 and 3 years and at the end of the academic year when they turn 5. These are not tests for the child - the assessments are based on EYFS practitioners’ observations.
Information from these tests is used for parents, practitioners and teachers
to support children’s learning and development.
- There are 7 areas that Early Years concentrates on:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding of the world
- expressive arts and design
Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about subjects and other people through games.
Early Years Foundation Stage profile
At the end of the academic year when a child turns 5, the practitioner records each child’s development by watching the child playing and in the classroom. The completed assessment is known as the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage profile’. This is used to help the Year 1 teacher plan lessons for the children.
Further information for parents
Read more about EYFS for parents on the Foundation Years website. It shows you how you can support your child during the foundation years and what you can expect from the professionals working with your child.
What to expect from childminder's
All the activities should be based on continuous provision activities like sand/water or construction play. The plans offer a structure to your day. They do not include actual activities which are easily found in books from the library or off the internet, they are simply plans on basic themes and provisions of play. For example for Monday, the short term plan may show: Music Time / Construction Play / Malleable Activity. The actual activity for music could be actions songs, and for construction could be lego and for malleable could be play dough. Therefore this gives you flexibility for each day. Ofsted Inspectors are looking to see that you are following the EYFS, to do this you should record how your activites link to the EYFS, for example a construction activity could link to 'Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy, this shows the inspector you have covered one of the 'Areas of Learning and Development'.