The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.
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.
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years’ experts and parents.
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 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
∙ Communication and language;
∙ Physical development; and
∙ 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 4 specific areas. These are:
∙ Understanding the world; and
∙ Expressive arts and design.
These 7 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's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
Real play means taking risks—physical, social, and even cognitive. Children are constantly trying out new things and learning a great deal in the process. They love to move from adventure to adventure. They face the risk of mistakes and even of injuries, but that does not deter children. They embrace life, play, and risk with energy, and they are prepared for a certain amount of bumps and bruises while growing up.
When children are given a chance to engage freely in adventurous play they quickly learn to assess their own skills and match them to the demands of the environment. Such children ask themselves—consciously or unconsciously— “how high can I climb”, or “is this log across the creek strong enough to support me?” As parents and carers, we have to learn to assess our own fears and trust that the children are resilient enough to know their limits, and be there to guide them where necessary.
The Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which can be found at the website below gives a very detailed explanation for parents and I suggest that you read it for any further information.