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The Early Years Foundation stage

"Education is the most powerful weapon which   you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
Why do I need to know about the EYFS?


• The EYFS will be the stage your child is in when they attend a setting or a childminder’s home between birth and the age of five. It is also the stage that they are in until the end of the Reception year at school.

• Children do best when parents and professionals work together.

• It is important to remember that you know more about your own child than anyone else. Practitioners should be asking you about your child and sharing information with you about your child’s progress.

• Understanding what your child is doing when they are with others will help you to notice how well they are developing and learning.

• The part you play in their learning and the choices you make will make a difference to their future.    

What is the EYFS?

• The EYFS is a stage of children’s development from birth to the end of their first (Reception) year in school.

• The EYFS Framework describes how early years practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning.

• It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child achieves the most that they can in their earliest years of life.

• It is based on four important principles.

What are the four principles?


Theme: A Unique Child

Principle: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Theme: Positive Relationships

Principle: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

Theme: Enabling Environments

Principle: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

Theme: Learning And Development

Principle: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and interconnected.

Each Principle applies to all children from birth. Each Principle is supported by four commitments that describe how the Principle can be put into practice.

Why are the years from birth to five so special?


The years from birth to five see the greatest growth and learning for all children.

• good health;
• to be happy;
• to feel safe;
• to be successful.

Early learning is the key to your child’s future.


What can parents and carers do?


Parents and carers are their children’s first teachers. When they are with you learning can happen at any time and anywhere, for example through:

• being generous with praise and cuddles;
• reading things together;
• playing games, singing nursery rhymes;
• talking about what you can see in the park or on the street;
• counting the stairs as you go up and down.

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents

Government documents relating to early years


Link to: Statutory framework for the years foundation stage. (Effective 4th September 2023)

Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (

Link to:  Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (revised September, 2023)

This non-statutory guidance material helps practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Development Matters - Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage (

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