What is the EYFS (Early Years Foundations Stage)
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.
Purpose and Aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that provisions will keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework that provides this assurance.
The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. The EYFS does this by:
Setting the standards – for learning, development and care of young children
Providing for equality of opportunity
Creating the framework for partnership working – with parents and professionals (children do best when parents and professionals work together)
Improving quality and consistency
Laying a secure foundation for future learning
It is based on four important Principles.
What are the EYFS Principles?
The EYFS is broken into four themes, these all each have a Principle. The Principles apply to all children from birth. Each Principle is supported by four commitments that describe how the Principle can be put into place.
Theme 1: A Unique Child
Principle – Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Theme 2: Positive Relationships
Principle – Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parent and/or key person.
Theme 3: Enabling Environments
Principle – The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Theme 4: Learning and development
Principle – Children develop and learn in different ways at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.
Though effective practice, encouraged by framework, children should develop into confident, communicative, competent and healthy children, ready to move onto the next stage of learning by the end of their year.