EYFS / Early Years Foundation Stage

Written By : Deborah Newman

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a comprehensive framework for early childhood education and care used in the UK. It sets the standards for the learning, development, and care of children from birth to five years of age. The EYFS framework is based on the principle that children are unique individuals who develop at their own pace, and that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on their future success in life. EYFS provides a clear and coherent approach to early childhood education that is designed to support children's holistic development, including their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. The first 5 years are a crucial period in a child's life, and by following the EYFS framework, parents, educators, and caregivers can ensure that children receive high-quality education and care that supports their holistic well-being and development, and prepares them for future success.

Understanding the EYFS Framework: What It Is and Why It Matters

The EYFS is designed to provide a high-quality, developmentally appropriate curriculum for children from birth to five years of age. The EYFS framework sets out standards for early childhood education, including the seven areas of learning and development that are crucial for young children's growth and development. By understanding the EYFS framework, parents, educators, and caregivers can ensure that children receive the support and care they need to develop into confident and capable learners. The EYFS is an essential tool for promoting positive outcomes for children, and for laying the foundation for future success in life, academically, socially, and emotionally.

The Seven Areas of Learning and Development in EYFS: An Overview

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework identifies seven areas of learning and development that are essential for young children's growth and development. 

1. Communication and Language

Communication and language are crucial for children to develop their communication and language skills from a young age as it is key to their ability to interact with the world around them. The EYFS framework identifies three aspects of communication and language, which are listening and attention, understanding, and speaking.

2. Physical Development

Physical development includes both gross motor skills, such as running and jumping, and fine motor skills, such as holding a pencil. Children who develop good physical skills are better able to explore their environment and learn from their experiences.

3. Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

Personal, social, and emotional development includes the development of self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy, as well as the ability to make relationships and form attachments with others. Children who develop strong social and emotional skills are better able to form positive relationships, and to successfully handle challenges and changes in their lives.

4. Literacy

Literacy includes the development of reading and writing skills, as well as an appreciation of books and stories. Children who develop good literacy skills are better able to communicate their thoughts and ideas and access information from the world around them.

5. Mathematics

Mathematics includes the development of numeracy skills, such as counting and recognizing numbers, as well as an understanding of basic mathematical concepts, such as shape, space, and measurement. Children who develop good mathematical skills are better able to make sense of the world around them, and solve problems.

6. Understanding the World

Understanding the world includes the development of knowledge and understanding of the world around us, including people, places, and things. It also includes an understanding of technology and how it can be used to support learning and communication.

7. Expressive Arts and Design

Expressive Arts and Design includes the development of creativity and imagination through art, music, and dance. Children who develop good expressive arts and design skills are better able to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and ideas in a wide variety of ways.

Supporting Children's Learning and Development in the Early Years

The early years of a child's life are critical for their learning and development. During this time, children's brains are developing rapidly, and by 5 years of age a child’s brain has developed to 90% of its adult capacity.  During this period children are learning important skills that will support them throughout their lives and the more stimulation they receive the greater their brain development. Research also shows that children who have had a quality early years’ education perform better in school, both academically and emotionally, and have better outcomes in adulthood in terms of academic achievement and earning potential.  To support children's learning and development in the early years, parents, educators, and caregivers need to create safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments that encourage exploration, experimentation, and learning through play.

Best Practices for EYFS Assessment and Observation

Assessment and observation are essential tools for understanding children's learning and development in the early years. They help parents, educators, and caregivers to identify children's strengths and areas for improvement, and to plan appropriate activities and interventions. However, it's important to use best practices when assessing and observing young children. This means using a range of recommended assessment tools and techniques, observing children in a variety of contexts, and involving parents and caregivers in the assessment process.

EYFS in Practice: A Day in the Life of an Early Years Setting

To truly understand the impact of the EYFS framework, it can be helpful to see it in action. A typical day in an early years setting that follows the EYFS framework would include morning routines and circle time, outdoor play, and individual activities in the different areas of learning.  So why not visit our nursery and take a close look at how educators and caregivers use the EYFS framework to support children's learning and development in a real-world setting?

In conclusion, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provides a robust framework for early childhood education and care, and following this framework is crucial for ensuring children receive the best possible start in life. At Blossom Nursery, we understand the importance of the EYFS and use it as a guide to create a nurturing and stimulating environment that supports children's holistic development. By using the EYFS framework, blended with practices from other key curricula and the latest neuroscience research, we aim to provide a high-quality education and care that prepares children for future success. We invite parents and caregivers to book a free tour to learn more about our approach and how we implement the EYFS framework in our daily practices. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to see our facilities, meet our experienced staff, and learn more about our approach to early childhood education. Contact us today to schedule your tour and discover how we can support your child's growth and development.

Writer's Bio

Deborah Newman

<p>Deborah is an experienced education sector manager with experience in both the UK and the UAE. Deborah has worked at a senior level in Early Years Education in the UAE for 9 years, with 7 of these with Blossom having been Center Director at 3 Blossom centers. Deborah is CACHE5 qualified and also a qualified teacher of English as a second language, in addition to having other management and project management qualifications. Deborah is now working as part of the Blossom Head Office team, initially as the Head of Home Learning during and immediately after the Covid pandemic, and now as the Head of Communications.</p> <p>Deborah is passionate about early years education, recognizing the significant development benefits to a child of a quality early years education during the first five years of life, and the lifelong benefits of this. In her personal life, Deborah is the mother of three grown up children who all live in the UK and in her free time enjoys travel, especially involving trekking.</p>