Like all nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and child-minders we must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS 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. Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time, which is why they are called 'the foundation years' – they are building blocks for life. During these foundation years, children’s health, maternal mental health, parenting style, learning activities and early education are all the influencing factors that can make a big difference to your child’s future.
The EYFS Framework 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)”
How will my child be learning?
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your 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; and
- 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. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- 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 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.