What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework and standards for care, education, and child development. It’s there to set standards for what happens to children during their early years, which have a key impact on the rest of their lives. It’s in place to make sure children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

The EYFS curriculum is used at all of our nurseries and pre-schools for children aged from birth to five years.

Of course, we strictly follow the welfare requirements to keep children safe and happy. These requirements include the minimum number of staff required at nursery, how medicines should be administered, and the risk assessments that must be in place. At Tommies we don’t just meet the minimum standards; we constantly aim to exceed them.

The EYFS categorises how children gain skills and build their knowledge into seven areas of learning and development.

Each of these areas are used by our nursery practitioners to plan tailored activities in line with your child’s needs and interests. It scaffolds playing, exploring, and taking part in activities – as well as developing creative and critical thinking.

The 7 key areas of learning within the EYFS

The three prime areas younger children will develop first are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social, and emotional development.

The early years are the best opportunity for your child’s brain to develop the connections they need to be a healthy, capable, successful adult.

As children grow, they’ll use what they’ve learned from the prime areas to develop new skills in four specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

At Tommies we understand the importance of positive experiences during a child’s formative years. Your child’s brain develops rapidly during the first five years of their life, especially during the first three years. It’s a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and motor development. That’s why we’re here to support your child by speaking to, playing with, and caring for them.

The activities that you do with your child at home will help support their learning and development. The learning and development that takes place when your child is young will have a lasting effect on their experience throughout their school life as they progress from nursery.

For example, reading at home is hugely important.

Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment not only perform better but also develop a broader vocabulary, increase their general knowledge, and develop a better understanding with other cultures. Crucially, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.

Reading with your children sets them up to succeed by giving them a thirst for knowledge and helping them to develop language skills. Reading also enhances a child’s concentration, teaches them about a wide variety of different topics, and helps them to develop their imagination and creativity. As well as being a form of entertainment, reading with your child helps you to form a bond that brings you closer together. For parents who work, and have a busy lifestyle, relaxing with your child and simply enjoying each other’s company while reading can be a great way for you both to wind down, relax, and bond.

The latest framework also shows how parents/carers can become more involved in their child development. Find out more about Tommies parent partnerships.

You can check on your child’s progress at nursery by speaking to your child’s key person, who’ll be more than happy to show you your child’s learning journal and discuss their development with you.

If you would like any more EYFS information, please visit: www.foundationyears.org.uk.

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