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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

As well as being the core document for all professionals working in the foundation years, the EYFS framework gives mums and dads confidence that regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, they can be assured that the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

Below are links to the current EYFS statutory framework documents

EYFS Framework 2014 – updated, effective from 1 September 2014

Following the Government’s response to the consultation on ‘The Regulation of Childcare’ published 13 February 2014, the EYFS statutory framework has been updated and will be in effect from 1 September 2014.

The revisions reflect changes which apply to Section 3 on Safeguarding and Welfare.

There have been no changes to the areas of learning and development, including the early learning goals.

Download EYFS Framework 2014

Learn about changes for out of school childcare providers in the General Childcare Register from September 2014 and the importance of building quality for children and parents.

Download Keeping Children Safe in Out of Hours Provision

Quick reference guide to the changes – EYFS framework 2014

This document contains all the changes from the 2012 framework that apply to the new 2014 EYFS framework.

Download Quick reference guide to the changes

EYFS Framework 2012 – effective until 1 September 2014

Statutory framework on the EYFS to be used until 1 September 2014.

Download EYFS Framework 2012

Additional support

Key EYFS documents are listed below. Existing and evolving additional resources developed with the early years sector to implement the EYFS framework can all be found on this website in EYFS guidance.

The EYFS Profile Handbook – latest edition

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Handbook contains important information for all early years professionals, local authorities and headteachers about assessing children’s attainment.

It includes information about how and why EYFS assessments should be carried out and guidance on:

  •      How to complete an EYFS Profile
  •      Recording children’s attainment
  •      Making accurate and reliable judgements about EYFS attainment.

The Handbook should be used alongside the EYFS Assessment and reporting arrangements and exemplification materials. The EYFS Profile LA moderation requirements booklet has been incorporated into section 6 of the 2014 Handbook.

Download EYFS Profile Handbook

Example evidence of children’s attainment

These materials are a selection of example evidence of children’s attainment, categorised into the 17 early learning goals (ELGs) which are part of the EYFS Profile.

The downloadable materials establish the national standard for the level of learning and development expected at the end of EYFS for each ELG.

The exemplification materials help:

  • Practitioners to make accurate judgements for each child’s attainment
  • Moderators to assess the accuracy of practitioner judgements
  • Year 1 Teachers to use EYFS Profile outcomes to plan effective provision
  • Other stakeholders who wish to evaluate children’s learning and development.

1. Exemplification materials and learning journeys covering ELGs 1-5 in a zip file.
Download exemplification material (part 1 of 4)

2. Exemplification materials and learning journeys covering ELGs 6-10 in a zip file.
Download exemplification materials (part 2 of 4)

3. Exemplification materials covering and learning journeys ELGs 11-14 in a zip file.
Download exemplification materials (part 3 of 4)

4. Exemplification materials and learning journeys covering ELGs 15-17 and learning journeys in a zip file.

Download exemplification materials (part 4 of 4)

Early Years Outcomes

This document is a non-statutory guide to support practitioners and inspectors to help understanding of child development through the early years. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others, such as Ofsted, throughout the early years as a guide to making best-fit judgements about whether a child is showing typical development for their age, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. It is a guide to typical development while recognising that children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.

Download Early Years Outcomes

The EYFS Progress Check at age two

This non-statutory guidance has been produced by National Children’s Bureau and supports you in implementing the statutory progress check at age two as required in the EYFS Framework 2012/14.

The progress check has been introduced to enable earlier identification of development needs so that any additional support can be put into place as early as possible. The EYFS Framework does not require the progress check to be completed in a prescribed or standard format. It only specifies that information about a child’s development should be provided to parents in the prime areas of learning and development of the EYFS: personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language. This ‘know how guide‘ provides you with information to support you in carrying out the progress check and gives examples of how practitioners provide information to parents. Its aim is to stimulate ideas for how practitioners might approach the progress check.

Download EYFS Progress Check

EYFS for Parents

4Children has published a non-statutory document, developed with parents for parents providing an overview of the EYFS Framework 2012.

It illustrates how parents can support their child during their foundation years. Settings can add further information in the blank boxes provided to give parents more detail about the implementation of the EYFS in their setting. It is the intention that all settings should share this guidance with parents. You can access, tailor and share the the document with parents electronically but also as a downloadable printed copy. There is an accompanying user guide taking you through the process of editing the Parents’ Guide.

Download Parents’ Guide to the EYFS

EYFS Framework 2012

In April 2012, a revised EYFS Framework was issued by government based on the recommendations of Dame Claire Tickell’s review, The Early Years: Foundations for Life, Health and Learning.

The revised EYFS emphasises the need for professionals to:

  • Spend more time interacting with children to promote creative and critical thinking skills and early language and communication
  • Encourage dads and mums to become more involved in their child’s development and to give ideas as to how they can support this development at home
  • Identify as early as possible any additional needs a child may have and strengthen links with colleagues, such as health visitors, who can support these needs
  • Share with parents a summary of their child’s progress between 2 and 3 years of age
  • Refocus the learning and development of the youngest children in the foundation years:
    • Through the three prime areas of learning: personal, social and emotional development; communication and language; and physical development
    • Along with four specific areas of learning:  literacy; mathematics; expressive arts and design; and understanding the world.
  • Assess at the end of the reception year using the new Early Years Foundation Stage Profile against significantly fewer early learning goals – a reduction from 69 to 17
  • To make a judgement at the end of the reception year on how children learn, informed by the characteristics of learning:
    • Active learning
    • Creating and thinking critically
    • Playing and exploring
  • To adhere to a clearer set of requirements to keep children safe.

Download EYFS Statutory Framework 2012

The 2012 EYFS Framework was supported by the following guidance developed with and by the early years sector:

Quick reference guide to the changes – EYFS Framework 2012

This document contains all the changes that apply to the 2012 Framework from the EYFS Framework 2008

Download EYFS 2012 reforms guide

Development Matters 2012

This non-statutory guidance was produced by Early Education and is a resource to support you  in implementing the statutory requirements – learning and development of the EYFS Framework 2012/14. It replaces Appendix 2 of the 2008 EYFS Practice Guidance.

This guidance shows how the four themes of the EYFS Framework and the principles that inform them work together to support babies and children. The Unique Child develops and learns through interaction in Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments.  It illustrates how the Characteristics of Effective Early Learning may be supported and extended by adults as well as how they underpin the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development.

Use Development Matters as part of your daily observation, assessment and planning. It can also be used at points during the EYFS as a guide to making best-fit summative judgements, with parents and colleagues across agencies, about whether a child is showing typical development, may be at risk of delay or is ahead for their age. The age/stage bands are the same as they were previously. They overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development. When you use Development Matters it is important to remember that babies and young children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.The development statements and their order are not necessary steps for every child and should not be used as checklists.

Download Development Matters

Birth to Three Matters

The Foundation Years team converted the booklet, poster and the cards from the Birth to Three Matters packs into PDFs for practitioners to download to support you in your work with the youngest children.
Download Birth to Three Matters cards

Download Birth to Three Matters poster

Download Birth to Three Matters booklet

EYFS Framework 2008

Downloads of the original statutory framework and supporting materials are available for archive reference only: Statutory Framework, Practice Guidance, EYFS wall posters, Principles into Practice cards. This EYFS pack does not reflect current policy.

Download EYFS Framework 2008

Do you need a printed copy of the EYFS Statutory Framework?

For printed copies of the Statutory Framework and supporting materials please visit the 4Children website.