What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child's life between birth and the age of five. It is a framework setting the standards for learning, development and care for children during this period. Childminders, nurseries, pre-schools and reception classes must follow the legal document called the EYFS Framework.

You can ask for information about your child's development at any time and there are two stages (the "progress check" at age two and again at age five) when the professionals caring for your child must give you written information about how he or she is doing. The written summary of their progress at age five is called the EYFS Profile.

As a Mum/Dad/Guardian, how can I help with my child's learning?

All the activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development. They have a really long lasting effect on your child's learning as they progress towards and through school. Some examples of activites you can be doing with your child/ren; talking, reading, singing nursery rhymes, cooking and baking with them. Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, you talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas.

Parents and Guardians often underestimate what they can do to support their child's development. If you feel unsure of what to do at home to support your child's learning, you can find out what is on offer at your local children's centre. Many offer 'messy play' activities which you and your child can participate in. Also, many of the activities that they provide are free! Staff can also give you advice about the kind of books or other activities that your child might enjoy at different ages. They can give you ideas on how you can help your child learn.

Where can I go for further information?

You may want to find out what is on offfer at your local children's centre. Also visit the Foundation Years website for a range of resources and contacts.

Primary areas of learning

Communication & Language

Communication & Language

Physical Development

Physical Development

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Specific areas of learning

Literacy

Literacy

Mathematics

Mathematics

Understanding the World

Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design

Expressive Arts and Design