Today (11 May) the Department for Education has published new guidance for the progress check at age two for early years and childcare providers in England. PACEY worked closely with the Department for Education in shaping the development of this new guidance.
About the guidance
The guidance aims to support people working in early years and childcare with the statutory progress checks they must carry out on children between two and three years old. It helps practitioners to make an accurate assessment of a child’s development and progress in the three prime areas of learning in the EYFS framework and to work with parents and other professionals to put in place support and intervention where needed.
One of the guidance aims is to reduce workload - the DfE reminds practitioners that they do not need to spend a long time away from children to complete the checks and should avoid excessive tracking and data.
Timing and suitability
We are aware that some childminders are unsure about when the progress check should be carried out. Page 11 of the guidance is titled ‘Preparing to undertake the progress check at age two’ and provides further information on how to determine when to carry out the progress check. The check should be taken between the child’s second and third birthday, however you need to consider a range of factors (such as time spent in your setting, individual needs and circumstances and patterns of attendance) to consider whether the timing is appropriate or whether the check should be delayed.
Alongside this guidance practitioners should refer to Development Matters which sets out how children develop and learn. The DfE has published a blog on Foundation Years website explaining the importance of progress checks, particularly in light of the pandemic. You can also find a DfE Vodcast on YouTube explaining the new guidance. A resource for parents titled ‘What to expect in the early years foundation stage: a guide for parents’ can support practitioners to help parents find out more about their child’s learning and development.