For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, the EYFS is a document that sets the standards for the learning, development and care of children birth to five years. So if you use a nursery, childminder, nanny, preschool or your child is in a reception class then this is the have all and end all document for the staff working there.
- Birth to five years curriculum
- Safety and welfare requirements
- Legislation relating to children rights
- Learning and development requirements
- Guidance for the two year old check and assessing children in the early years
- EYFSP (Early Years Foundation Stage Profile) – the children’s final EYFS assessment before they move up into key stage 1
- Guidance for safeguarding and child protection
- Staff requirements – ratios, DBS checks, qualifications
- Children’s health – administration of medicines, food and drink, accidents and injuries
- Behaviour management
- Guidance around suitable premises and resources
- Assessment of risks
- SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities)
- Record keeping
So hopefully you can now see why the EYFS is our bible? This is the fourth update of the EYFS now; 2008, 2012, 2014 and now 2017.
There hasn’t been any HUGE changes to the document over the years. Changes have been more tweaks here and there such as:
- Areas of learning and development shifted around a bit
- Legislation updates
- Safeguarding and child protection tweaks (this is an important one.
- We see Serious Case Reviews of children on the news all the time.. well that influences the EYFS and how we can strive to have better knowledge around abuse and being able to spot it)We saw the Development Matters document move to being guidance rather than a statutory document to follow
- Slight changes in regards to ratios of staff to children
- The requirement to have certain policies and procedures have been removed (no smoking policy, risk assessment policy and the requirement to have written parental consent to take children on outings were removed)
- Sentences slimmed down and little bits removed here and there (a lot of it was common sense anyway)
I’ve not had long to look at the new EYFS 2017 ammendments but again, I can see that there aren’t any significant changes put into the framework.
Here’s the changes from the EYFS 2014 to the EYFS 2017:
- The summary section of the EYFS includes a new paragraph to clarify which provisions in the EYFS document are requirements (provisions indicated by the word “must”) and where providers must have regard to other provisions (provisions indicated by the word “should”). – I like this change because even though a lot of the framework is common sense for all of us who use it as a bible, this change in clarifying what NEEDS to be done and things that you SHOULD be doing (but aren’t legally required to do) makes it easier to understand as a whole.
- Footnote 5 (paragraph 1.1) has been amended to clarify the position for providers who exclusively offer ‘out of school hours’ care for children younger than those in the Reception class age range. – Clarification always makes life easier.
- Paragraph 1.5 includes a new footnote with a link to the Chief Medical Office guidance on physical activity.
- Paragraph 3.7 (“child protection”) includes references to new and updated government advice and guidance (e.g. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, and the Prevent Duty Guidance 2015), which has been published since the EYFS was last updated in 2014. –This is always helpful to have to hand!
- Paragraph 3.23 (“staff qualifications, training, support and skills”) includes a new footnote setting out the literacy and numeracy qualification requirements for level 3 early years educator (EYE) staff. As set out in the government response to the L3 consultation, to count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an EYE qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English and maths. – I don’t know why this wasn’t put in sooner? We need quality staff to teach the next generation so basic maths and English skills should have been compulsory a long time ago I feel.
- Paragraph 3.25 (“staff qualifications, training, support and skills”) includes a new Paediatric First Aid (PFA) requirement. As set out in the government’s response to the PFA consultation, all newly qualified entrants to the early years workforce with full and relevant level 2 and/or level 3 qualifications must also have a PFA certificate before they can be included in the statutory staff:child ratios in early years settings. The full PFA and emergency PFA course content has been set out in Annex A of the EYFS. – Another change that should have been compulsory from the very start. It’s about time that they put this in there! You wouldn’t want to leave your child in a childcare setting knowing that they don’t know paediatric first aid would you? I know I wouldn’t.
- Paragraph 3.37 (“ratios”) includes a new footnote for schools that haveprovision run by the governing body (under section 27 of the Education Act 2002). This change was communicated to Ofsted and all local authorities in autumn 2015. – Minor change.
- Paragraph 3.42 (“childminders”) now includes a further example of when an exception to the usual ratios can be made (namely to maintain continuity of care). – Examples are always helpful because some of the EYFS seems like it’s been written in code, an example can go a long way. Although still only a minor change.
- Paragraph 3.45 (“medicines”) has been amended to make it clearer that prescription medicines must not be administered unless they have been prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist. – This is correct, we don’t want to give your child medication that doesn’t have their name on it.
- Paragraphs 3.10, 3.41, 3.63 and 3.77 include minor amendments as a result of section 76 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which allows childminders and domestic childcare providers registered with Ofsted or a childminder agency to operate from suitable non-domestic premises for up to half their time (without registering separately). This measure came into effect on 1 January 2016. – This was definitely an annoying part of being a childminder and nanny. Registering with Ofsted is never a fun process so to only have to do it the once is a plus.
So you can see that there aren’t really any BIG changes in the new EYFS framework and children will still be taught in the same way.
You can download the EYFS 2017 one page document here; the EYFS 2014 full document from here. Or from a parent point of view and if you want an easier read then I really do recommend this document to read through.
I would have liked to see:
More flexibility in assessment on young children. It does say in the EYFS that children learn in different ways and develop at different rates so I feel that flexibility with assessments and the baseline review could be beneficial.
Stricter policies and procedures around the use of mobile phones in settings. I firmly believe it should be no mobile phones full stop regardless of the provisions mobile phone policy. A standard no camera mobile phone should be supplied to staff within rooms incase of emergencies instead of the use of their own phones – manager included.