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What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Education
Course: BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
Category: Education

18 December 2018

The EYFS is a statutory framework and everyone who is registered to care for children must follow it, to ensure children learn and develop.

Providers also have a duty of care to safeguard children’s well-being. All early years settings must ensure that each child develops and progresses and no children get left behind. The EYFS is mandatory for all children under the age of five. It is a curriculum based upon play, for children to explore and learn in different environments, which challenges their development in a safe and secure way. It is a legal framework which covers seven areas of learning.

Within the document it has specific and prime areas of development. The prime areas help children develop skills that are needed for life, they are then linked to specific areas. These are:

  • Communication and language development
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy development
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Children will learn and develop through play activities that are set out under these specific areas. For example, for ‘maths’, children could be playing with puzzles; this is an example of how the focus of the prime areas comes into practice. Children will begin to use their language and communicate with peers, develop their personal, social and emotional development and progress with their physical development by using their fine motor skills. Children will develop skills whilst playing and it is important that practitioners observe and record their progress and plan next steps for the children to progress their development in all areas.

When studying early childhood studies, basic knowledge of the EYFS is taught to make future practitioners aware of the curriculum they’ll need to follow when working with children under the age of five. You will learn how the EYFS is implemented and how it is carried out during the day to day routine within a setting. This gives you a bit of knowledge when you go into the setting and work with the children because you must follow and refer to the framework when planning age appropriate activities.

When completing assignments, references will be useful to back up your points or arguments because the framework is in place to protect all children. When in a setting, children must be protected no matter the circumstances and this is stated in the EYFS. When children reach a milestone for their age, this is observed and marked off to show what the child can do. This is how children’s development is monitored to see where they are at for their age, whether they are emerging, on target or exceeding with the milestones.


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