Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

Exciting times ahead for you and your child

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

Welcome to Monroe’s Nursery and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the British Government and early year’s professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.

What is the EYFS Framework – why do we have one?

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early year’s experts and parents. In 2012 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop. The framework has been revised again with changes to the statutory guidance effective from September 2017. It sets out:

The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare

The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge

Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS

Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)? There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.

What does it mean for me as a parent?

Ensuring my child’s safety

Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.

How my child will be learning

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

Communication and language;

Physical development; and

Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

Literacy;

Mathematics;

Understanding the world; and

Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child in Monroe’s Nursery make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is similar to the curriculum in primary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.

Sing and tell nursery rhymes

Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about

Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines

Cook / bake together

Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch

Use the weather – shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary

Explore the park at a different time of the year – go off the beaten track

Share a book

Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day

On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes

If you're looking for new ideas for things to do ask our staff here at Monroe’s, they are always happy to give you advice about the kinds of books or other activities your child might enjoy at different ages.

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