What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?
Every child is an individual and deserves the best possible start to life. The EYFS is a statutory government framework that supports this belief. It sets out standards for the learning, development and welfare of children from birth to five years of age. It explains the skills, knowledge and understanding that children must learn to support their healthy development, and it helps very young children acquire the skills they will need to learn and school and beyond. Early years practitioners use the framework to help them plan for the learning and healthy development of the children in their care.
The EYFS Framework is mandatory for all early years providers – this means that all nurseries, pre-schools, school reception classes and childminders must adhere to it. By following the same framework, quality and consistency in all early years settings is ensured.
The framework also sets out assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS and expected levels that should be achieved. These goals and expectations are called Early Learning Goals (ELGs).
How can I find out how my child is progressing?
It is important that you and the professionals working with your child communicate and work together; you will have ongoing discussions and conversations regarding activities that will benefit your child. These conversations will be with your child’s Key Person or a manager at Stepping Stones.
In additional to a curriculum of learning, the EYFS also outlines how your child will be assessed while in an early years setting. At Stepping Stones, staff members will continually observe and informally assess your child and record feedback in a Learning Journal. You can then request to see this observational feedback about your child’s development at any time. Another way of finding out if your child is progressing is to arrange an informal chat with your child’s key person or one of the managers at Stepping Stones.
Supporting your child at home
Parents and carers have a really important role to play in their child’s learning and development. All the exciting activities that you do with your child at home, as well as all of the everyday situations you experience, offer fantastic opportunities for children to learn, explore and discover. What’s more, children benefit when the influential adults around them work in partnership – whether that’s mum, dad, grandma, grandad, aunties, uncles or close family friends; everyone working together can really help to make a positive impact on your child’s development.
This is why staff at Stepping Stones will encourage you to share your child’s ‘at home’ experiences and achievements. This might be through informal discussion at collection and pick up times, or through written communication in your child’s link book. This information sharing will help Stepping Stones to plan for and support your child’s development journey. For example, a family visit to a zoo could result in a wild animal inspired arts and crafts session at nursery. Or if you’ve been busy at home making shakers from dried pasta and old water bottles, it might inspire a musical craft session, or even a music lesson. If you know what your child has been enjoying away from home, you can also reinforce this learning with relevant activities at home.