The Early Years Foundation Stage extends from birth to five and is underpinned by the EYFS Statutory framework . The EYFS Statutory Framework is for all early years providers in England: It outlines the statutory requirements in the following areas:
Section 1: Learning and Development Requirements
Section 2: Assessment
Section 3:The Safeguarding and Welfare requirements.
The EYFS Development Matters provides non-statutory guidance for early years practitioners and includes information about the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Learning and Development
The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise:
- The seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes
- The 17 early learning goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year
- The assessment requirements (when and how practitioners must assess children’s achievements, and when and how they should discuss children’s progress with parents and/or carers).
Assessment within the early years is an important and integral part of learning and development. It is based on observations of children in their day to day learning and interactions to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles.
Assessment can be formative (on going and regular) and summative.
Two summative statutory assessments are completed in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS);
- Progress check at age two
- Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) at the end of EYFS: EYFSP Handbook.
Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements
All early years providers must comply with the safeguarding and welfare requirements contained in Section 3 of the EYFS Statutory framework. These requirements provide clear and comprehensive information for providers about how children are to be kept safe and their well being promoted whilst attending an early years setting. Amongst other duties all providers are charged with safeguarding children, promoting good health, managing behaviour and maintaining records, policies and procedures.
Providers must follow the EYFS Statutory framework and have clear safeguarding policies and procedures in place that link to the local authority’s guidance for recognising, responding, reporting and recording suspected or actual abuse.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Ofsted and inspectorates of independent schools have regard to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in carrying out inspections and report on the quality and standards of provision.