The Early Years Foundation Stage is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of reception year. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.


The EYFS Framework 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 Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage September 2021


There are four guiding principles which shape our practice.  These are:


  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.


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 planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned 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 all early years settings. Each area of learning and development is important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are the prime areas:

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

We 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
  • Expressive arts and design

For each area of learning, an educational programme is set out and states the activities and experiences the children must take part in.

In planning what children learn we are required to reflect on the different rates which children are developing and adjust our practice accordingly.

Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing & exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’

Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.

Creating & thinking critically – Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Early Learning goals

7 Features of Effective Practice

EYFS Curriculum