>> Jan 3, 2013
At the beginning of September, a new statutory framework called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced in the UK. It was published on March 27th and outlines new standards that must be met by all providers of early years care.
But what is the purpose of the new framework and how will it affect nurseries and other pre-school care providers?
According to the government, the framework has been introduced to ensure that not only are children kept healthy and safe when they are receiving care throughout their early years, but that they are learning and developing at an acceptable rate. The government wants youngsters to have the kind of preparation they need ready for when they start attending school and the EYFS should give them the foundation they require.
One of the issues the current government has made it clear it wants to try and tackle is the large amount of red tape currently in place in the UK, which critics claim can stifle development across a wide range of sectors. It is hoped the EYFS will reduce bureaucracy and allow early years care professionals the freedom they need to give children appropriate levels of support and guidance when they are young.
The way nurseries and early years care providers plan children’s education will be affected by the introduction of three prime and four specific areas of learning that must be followed. It is hoped that these will help to guide care professionals when they are planning activities.
Another of the most significant changes is the introduction of a new written summary that must be provided when children are between 24 and 36 months, detailing their development in three key areas: personal, social and emotional development, communication and language.
It is hoped this will enable care providers to identify any particular needs a child may have and therefore offer them the additional support they require, whether it is from the nursery or other specialist professionals. Nurseries exist not only to look after children, but to ensure they are progressing and developing well – and the written summary system should help to ensure this.
The report will be shared with you as a parent and will mean you are given accurate and timely updates regarding your child’s development – as well as details of any areas of concern that care providers will work to address. It will be written in plain and simple English and will be used to plan the next stages of your child’s learning. What is more, it means you have a clear idea of how your child is progressing and will be able to support the help they are receiving at nursery through the activities you do with them at home.
It is important for you as a parent to have a positive and open relationship with the professionals who look after your children when they are young, as you both have your child’s best interests at heart and want to ensure they get the best possible start in what is a very crucial time in their development. The improvements brought about by the EYFS should help to achieve this and strengthen the partnerships you have.