"The curriculum (or to use EYFS terminology, the educational programmes) that children experience in their early years are vita. We know that young children are especially receptive between birth and age 5, when their brains develop at the fastest speed and they learn more rapidly than at any other age. This means that the choices we make for very young children are all hugely important"; Amanda Spielman, 2018, HM Chief Inspector of Education

A healthy, happy and safe childhood is every child’s right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation for lifelong learning and enables children to reach their full potential.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) contains the statutory guidance for the learning and development; safety and care of all children from birth to 5 years old.

Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

Development Matters details a possible progression of children’s learning and development from birth to five years old. Ofsted inspects providers regularly to ensure that provision is compliant and providing high quality early years education.

Children learn most effectively when taught through purposeful, well planned play and learning experiences which promote the seven areas of learning:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Within the EYFS, there are two statutory points of assessment.

  • The Integrated Review (or, as it was called initially, two year old progress check) which brings together health and early education. It takes place when the child is between the age of two to two and half years.
  • The EYFS Foundation Stage profile which takes place in the final term of the year in which a child reaches age 5, and no later than 28 of June in that term. (EYFS Profile Handbook 2019 - November 2018)

Early years foundation stage profile

The new Early Years Inspection Framework will take effect from September 2019.