What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a British curriculum that sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. EYFS supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children based on children’s interests.
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)”.
What are the Early Years Foundation Stage Principles?
A Unique Child: Every child is unique, who can constantly be learning, resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent through positive and secure relationships between parents and teachers.
Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning through creating a stimulating atmosphere.
Learning & Development: This section is divided into two prime areas and specific areas.
EYFS child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language.
- Physical development.
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.