The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and the age of 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school, as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and support their development, care and learning needs.
Nurseries, pre-schools, school reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in early years to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents. In 2012, the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it is suitable for very young children, and is designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests. Through the EYFS, children learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outside.
To read more about the EYFS, please visit www.foundationyears.org.uk.