Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

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

The EYFS gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children and gives parents and carers 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.

  • Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations

  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food

  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities

  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest

  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure

  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

Prevent duty

Childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Please see the guidance around the the Prevent Duty. If you need to make a referral, use the Prevent National Referral form. Free e-learning about the process is available. In addition, we have prepared a summary and providers can also access free Prevent Awareness e-learning. We offer Prevent and British Values training as part of our Early Years training programme.

Understanding the steps of learning for children with EAL

This guidance from EMAS outlines the steps that children go through when acquiring an additional language and gives suggestions about how practitioners can support them in this journey within an inclusive environment.


Settings must follow national and local requirements for safeguarding as outlined by Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partenership. The Early Years Team can carry out an audit of safeguarding practice on request, and have a number of useful guidance documents for use alongside this to help you to ensure your safeguarding systems are up to date and robust. Please contact the team for more information or to arrange a visit. Further guidance and useful links can be found here.

Welcoming an adopted child to your provision

This short guide from adoptionUK gives an overview of some issues facing adopted children and their families, and practical strategies to help nurseries and families work together to enable an adopted child to settle in and to thrive.

Information for parents on the EYFS

The ‘What to expect when’ booklet is a useful resource for parents that you may like to share.

The progress check at age two and the ASQ

If you have two year olds at your setting you will need to assess their progress in the EYFS prime areas. A template for the EYFS Progress Check at Age Two can downloaded and amended. You can choose when to complete the checks, but it may be helpful if the ASQ at 27 months has already been completed by the Healthy Child Team. The child’s Red Book (Personal Child Health Record), page 38, will be completed with a summary of the ASQ . Please add your summary of the child’s development onto page 38a. If you would like to request support from the  Healthy Child Team please send a copy of this page to the child’s Health Visitor. A list of Health Visitors linked to each Children’s Centre is available.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

Early Education have a free guide Practical Tips on Allocating Early Years Pupil Premium Funding. In addition, the Learning Together about Learning project is a comprehensive resource to support the effective implementation of the EYPP which is being continuously updated. For detailed information about eligibility criteria and how to claim EYPP please see our updated EYPP guidance for providers (PDF 39KB) and look at our Effective Use of the Early Years Pupil Premium webpage for advice about how to spend it.

Transfer Document

The transfer document is an effective way to share information about children transferring to another setting or school at any point in the year.

Quality Improvement

The Brighton & Hove Early Years Team supports quality improvement across all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We have a statutory responsibility to work with settings that have received an ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’ judgement from Ofsted.  We also help Good and Outstanding settings to develop quality via quality marks and other reflective materials. Contact helen.beaumont@brighton-hove.gov.uk for further information on how the team can support you.

Additional Support Links