The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage is mandatory for all early years providers.

Fundamentally, the framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well, are kept healthy and safe and have the knowledge and skills to start school.

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.

The EYFS states:

"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 current EYFS Framework came into effect in 2021, replacing the 2014 version.  To support providers with the implementation of the current framework, the Early Years Team prepared a number of resources around these new EYFS Reforms.

Early years provision should follow this statutory guidance at all times and should not depart from them unless there is good reason for doing so.  Sections 1 & 2 focus on the Learning and Development Requirements and Section 3 focuses on the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support.  Read more about EYFS Assessment here.

The framework should reduce paperwork and bureaucracy, strengthen partnerships between parents and professionals, focus on the three prime areas of learning, simplify assessment at age 5 and provide for early intervention where necessary, through the completion of the progress check at age 2.

  • The Learning and Development Requirements are given legal force by an Order made under section 39(1)(a) of the Childcare Act 2006
  • The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements are given legal force by Regulations made under section 39(1)(b) of the Childcare Act 2006

This list of websites is broken down by links useful for:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Physical Development 
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts & Design
  • Cross-Curricular

The following links and documents may also be useful:

  • DfE Videos for Practitioners assessing children’s development at the end of the EYFS
  • Development Matters. Revised July 2021: Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Birth to Five Matters: Non-statutory guidance, drawing on previous guidance for the EYFS which has been updated in order to reflect recent research.
  • OPAL (Observation of Play and Learning): Assessment tool developed by Barnet Early Years Alliance
  • 'A Celebratory Approach to Working with Children with SEND', produced by Pen Green Children's Centre September 2021, is designed to help practitioners support children who require additional help or children with SEND.