Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for England and what this means for you and your child

Children learn and develop at their own pace, but more rapidly during the first five years of their life than at any other time. As your child's parent, you know them better than anyone and will be able to identify what your child can do at any given stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) is a mandatory framework in England relating to the Childcare Act 2006. It is used by all Early Years practitioners, including reception teachers, registered childminders and nurseries.

The EYFS can provide an invaluable tool for you as a parent as guidance on how best to support your child through their first five years. The document shows how this can be achieved through ideas on What to Expect When as well as how to provide support within the seven areas of learning.

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

Whilst children do not learn within boxes or categories, it is this framework which allows measures to be undertaken through the seven areas of learning through an holistic, or 'complete' view of how your child is developing.

As a parent, it is important to know what to expect during those all important early years, and whilst every child is different and develop at varying rates, it serves as a platform from which you can see your child grow.

Check out What to Expect When for a guide to highlight these areas of learning and development and what to expect at the various ages.

This can be used as a reference and a prompt and will take you through a child’s development in age bands giving you, as a parent, ideas of what you may notice, and how you can explore and try new things together to extend their learning.

Building on what children already know and can do is key to extending their learning and development, not just within the seven areas of the EYFS Framework but to continue to be confident learners with the life skills they have already mastered. If, as a parent you feel unsure around this, start with your childcare provider - they are experts and will be able to help you.