What are the EYFS?
The early years foundation stage (EYFS) is a set of statutory standards and guidelines covering your child’s learning, development and care from birth to five years of age. As with all schools and OFSTED-registered early years’ providers, Herons' uses the EYFS to give your child the best start in life, and to help you support your child’s learning and development.
The 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 them the broad range of knowledge and skills needed to make good progress.
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 planned around the needs and interests of each individual child;
Partnership working between practitioners and parents/carers;
Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported
How do we put the EYFS into practice?
The EYFS underpins everything that we do at Herons'. That includes (but is not limited to) the use of a key person system to monitor your child’s welfare and progress, planning to meet their individual needs, working in partnership with you – the parent or carer – to support their development, and safeguarding and inclusive practices.
The four guiding principles that shape how we put EYFS into practice are (taken from the Department of Education’s own guidelines):
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; and
Children develop and learn in different ways 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.
Download the Department of Education’s leaflet 'Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage'.
Download Cambridge & Peterborough 50 Things to Do Before You're Five in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
All members of staff are involved in the care and development of your child, but our use of the ‘key person system’ means that one qualified staff member is always given personal responsibility for their learning and development record. The key person’s role is to get to know your child when they first join us, to take note of their individual needs and communicate these to other staff members, and to support them throughout their time at preschool. The key person will also work closely with you to ensure that your child, and you, gets the best out of their time with us.
Parents as Partners
As your child’s first and lifelong educator it is important to us that we develop a working partnership with you as well as a close bond with your child. That partnership will start from your first visit to the nursery, and will be strengthened as your child progresses. We actively encourage parents to join in with their child’s learning. In addition to offering Parents Consultations, you can discuss your child’s development with staff members at any time (for example, at pick-up time), and can ask to see your child's observations that the staff do. To further strengthen nursery-parent relationships we often hold family-friendly events where children, staff and parents can meet, chat and have fun!