In England the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.
This statutory framework 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.
As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives parents and carers confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.
What will my child learn?
Within the learning and development section of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) there are seven areas of learning and development which we use to shape the educational programmes in our nursery. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected,, however three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
For our youngest children there is a strong focus on these three prime areas, which are considered the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. As children grow in confidence and ability within the prime areas the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all prime and specific areas of learning. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World; and
- Expressive Arts and Design.
Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.
Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an ongoing professional judgement to be made by our early years educators about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults.
We recognise each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for entry into school at Year 1.
If you would like to know more information about the EYFS, visit the Foundation Years website.