Early Years Foundation Stage
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and given support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A safe, secure and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provices the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose early years services they need to know that the setting will keep their children safe and help them thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework that provides that assurance.
The aim of the EYFS is to help children achieve this by:
- Setting the standards for the learning, development and care children should experience when they attend settings outside the family home, ensuring that every child makes progress and that no child is ‘left behind’.
- Providing for equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice and ensuring that every child is included and not disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disability, gender or ability.
- Creating the framework for partnership working between parents and professionals, and between all the settings the child attends.
- Improving quality and consistency in the early year’s sector through a universal set of standards which apply to all settings, ending the distinction between care and learning in the existing frameworks, and providing the basis for the inspection and regulation regime.
- Laying a secure foundation for future learning through learning and development that is planned around the individual needs and interests of the child, and informed by the use of observational assessment.
The EYFS principles are grouped into four themes:
- The unique child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient , confident and self assured. It is focused around development; inclusion; safety; health and well being.
- Positive relationships – children learn to be independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents/carers and/or a key person. The commitments are focused around respect, partnership with parents/carers, supporting learning and the role of the key person.
- Enabling environments – environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s learning and development. It is focussed around observation, assessment and planning, support for every child, the learning environment, and the wider context – transitions, continuity, and multi-agency working.
- Learning and development – children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
Every child has the right to grow up safe, healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and with economic well-being.