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 5 years.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage sets statutory standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 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.

It gives parents and carers confidence that, regardless of where they choose for their child’s early education, the same statutory commitments and principles will underpin their child’s learning and development experience.

The Development Matters non-statutory guidance offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn.

It can help you to design an effective early years curriculum, building on the strengths and meeting the needs of the children you work with. It guides, but does not replace, professional judgement.

Help for early years providers. Get ready for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) changes in September 2021 with this guidance and practical support. These resources are for childminders, nursery leaders and pre-school practitioners.

  • 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 read the guidance about preventing terrorism and extremism. There are details on how to make a referral.

Find free e-learning about how to support people vulnerable to radicalisation from GOV.UK.

Understanding the steps of learning for children with EAL

Support and more information is available from the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service.


Settings must follow national and local requirements for safeguarding as outlined by Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership.

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 2 and the ASQ

If you have 2 year olds at your setting, you'll need to assess their progress in the EYFS prime areas. Download a template for the EYFS Progress Check at Age 2.

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)

For detailed information about eligibility criteria and how to claim EYPP, read our updated EYPP guidance for providers (PDF 39KB) and read our Effective Use of the Early Years Pupil Premium webpage for advice about how to spend it.

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.

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.

Additional support links

Find supporting documents and updates from Foundation Years.

Brighton & Hove subscribe to the Early Years Foundation Stage Forum on behalf of all local settings and practitioners.

The forum has lots of useful early years discussion boards, articles and resources. To obtain free access to the forum, send an email to ceyc.cwdt@brighton-hove.gov.uk for details.