In September 2008 the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced in England, the aim was to improve the quality of care and education for children from birth right to the end of their first year in school. The EYFS is a statutory curriculum which all providers working with babies and children up to the age of 5 years have to follow this also includes child-minders, after-school clubs and crèches. The reason for making this statutory was to ensure that all children are given the same opportunities for a high quality education, it is unique, as although the other homes provides resources and suggestions that help providers work with babies and toddlers, the EYFS also includes 0-3s in its education programme. The EYFS is not just an education programme it also covers the care and welfare requirements and sets out the staff ratios.
Within the EYFS education programme there are six areas of learning and they apply to all age ranges for example:
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
Children must be provided with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others around them; respect for others; social skills; a positive disposition to learn. Providers must ensure that support for children’s emotional well-being to help them know themselves and what they can do. Statutory Framework 2.7.
2. Communication, Language and Literacy:
A child’s learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening, being read to and beginning to read and write must be supported. They must be provided with opportunity and encouragement to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, and be supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so. Statutory Framework 2.9.
3. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy:
Children must be supported in developing their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. They must be provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use. Statutory Framework 2.11.
4. Knowledge and Understanding of the World:
Children must be supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures; peoples; plants; and objects in their natural environments and in a real life situations; undertake practical experiments; and work with a wide range of materials. Statutory Framework 2.13.
5. Physical Development:
The physical development of children and babies must be encouraged through the provision of opportunities for them to be active and interactive and to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They must be supporting in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. They must be supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food. Statutory Framework 2.15.
6. Creative Development:
Children’s creativity must be extended by the provision of support for curiosity, exploration and play. They must be provided with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example, through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, and design and technology. Statutory Framework 2.17.
There are aspects of learning within the broad areas which support practitioners in their delivery of the education programme included in the EYFS pack contains Practice Guidance, which is an important document that subdivides the areas of learning into their different components and also shows