Parents Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage

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Early Years Foundtion Stage Framework

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child 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 EYFS only applies to schools and early years providers in England. 

Press 'Learn More' to take you to the EYFS links.

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Areas of Learning

Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:

communication and language

physical development

personal, social and emotional development



understanding the world

expressive arts and design

Early Years Outcomes

A non-statutory guide for practitioners and

inspectors to help inform understanding of

child development through the early years

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Learning Through Play

Play underpins the EYFS. It also underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults have is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources. These might include clothes, boxes, buckets, old blankets that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. They observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.

Development Matters

Development Matters was produced by Early Education with support from the Department for Education. It is non-statutory guidance which supports all those working in early childhood education settings to implement the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the EYFS.

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