The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

It has been proven that from birth to 5 yrs old is one of, if not THE most important times in a child's development. What happens in these early years can shape the rest of a person's life. The EYFS sets out the legal requirements (policies and procedures, staff to child ratios etc.) to ensure a safe environment as well as the curriculum for these formative years.

There are 3 'prime areas of learning' as defined by the EYFS - Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development and Communication and Language. As your child reaches the age of 2 yrs we introduce the 'specific areas of learning' - Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World  and Expressive Arts and Design.

This may sound quite formal and daunting but everything they learn is age appropriate and it is all through play! Children learn best when involved in an activity they enjoy doing so the more information you can give us regarding your child's likes and dislikes the better the learning experience we can provide. There are lots of different things children should be doing at certain ages and your key person will monitor and track your child's development - if for whatever reason your child takes a little longer to achieve something we will discuss it with you and implement activity ideas and strategies to help them achieve it. If your child reaches a milestone that is above his / her expected developmental range we will provide even more challenging activities. ALL activities are individually planned for your child and his / her abilities.

You can follow your child's Learning Journey at Stepping Stones via our interactive online journal. We use a secure, tried and tested system called Tapestry. You will be able to view your child's Learning Journey at home and their 'next steps' and can even submit your own activities and events - we hope you can become involved and engaged as this way we can ensure a positive overlapping learning environment both at Stepping Stones and home.

We offer a language rich environment where quality interactions engage and stimulate the children and tailored, individual planning helps your child make the best progress they can at Stepping Stones. 


Excerpt from the Statutory Framework for the EYFS (published by the DFE)

1. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. 

2. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 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.

3. 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 learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed 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

4. The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:

• the areas of learning and development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for children in all early years settings

• the early learning goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five)

• assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents and/or carers)

5. The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover the steps that providers must take to keep children safe and promote their welfare.


Overarching principles

6. Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. 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, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers

• children develop and learn in different ways (“the characteristics of effective teaching and learning” ) and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

(First published 3 March 2017)