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The Early Years Foundation Stage

As a long established EYFS provider we understand that children develop quickly in the early years, and early years practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right, spelled out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

The EYFS seeks to provide:

• quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;

• a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;

• partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;

• equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

• communication and language;

• physical development; and

• personal, social and emotional development.

EYFS Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

• literacy;

• mathematics;

• understanding the world; and

• expressive arts and design.