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What is early years foundation stage training?
The best way for us to raise our children is to teach them to be kind, responsible, and capable of functioning as contributing members of society. Without such a foundation, they will likely never be able to become fine individuals. In the UK, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is responsible for providing that foundation.
In this article, we will discuss what EYFS training is and why it matters.
What is early years foundation stage (EYFS)?
The early years foundation stage (EYFS) is England's statutory framework for early years education and care. The EYFS covers the period from birth to the end of the reception year (age 5) and supports children's holistic development and learning.
In 2008, the EYFS was introduced in accordance with the Children Act 2006. It builds on good practices in early childhood settings to ensure every child receives high-quality care and education. Planning and delivering effective outcomes for children provides practitioners with a clear set of principles.
The EYFS is divided into the following four levels:
- EYFS Level 1 - 0 to 1 year
- EYFS Level 2 - 1 to 2 years
- EYFS Level 3 - 2 to 3 years
- EYFS Level 4 - 3 to 4 years.
What are the areas of learning?
In the early years foundation stage, children learn through play and exploration. EYFS is designed so that children can learn at their own pace. The skills children develop in reception will help them progress successfully through their primary school years.
The EYFS covers the following areas of learning:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design.
The EYFS aims to ensure that children can play, learn and develop as individuals. Children should be placed at the centre of their learning and have their individual needs met through various activities appropriate to their age and stage of development.
What is covered in the areas of learning?
Your child will learn a great deal about the world around them during the early years foundation stage. This is a crucial time as they begin to understand the world.
The areas of learning covered in the EYFS are:
- Communication and language - Children can talk about things in their lives using symbols on cards and books. Speaking, listening, and reading also help them learn new words. They understand them when they hear them in everyday conversations and read stories.
- Physical development - Includes gross and fine motor skills, movement and balance, posture, strength and fitness.
- Personal, social and emotional development - Includes self-awareness, understanding others, developing relationships with others and learning how to manage their emotions.
- Literacy - This is how children learn to read and write using the alphabet and simple words.
- Mathematics - This is how children count, add and subtract numbers up to 20.
- Understanding the world - This is how children learn about themselves, the people around them and their environment by exploring it through play.
- Expressive arts and design - Children develop their imagination through art and play.
How are children assessed in the EYFS?
The EYFS sets out how children should be assessed and prepared for formal testing at the end of their preschool year. The EYFS also describes what children should be able to do at different stages in their development.
Children are assessed in various ways to gather information about their development and needs. These include:
- Observation - Observing children’s behaviour, language and play to help us understand what they can do, how they learn and what they need.
- Checklists - Using checklists to gather information about a child’s development and learning.
- Standardised tests - Giving children tests that measure specific skills or areas of knowledge. These tests may be used as part of a broader assessment process or by themselves.
- Parent and carer views - Asking parents about their concerns about their child’s development, or asking them to describe what their child does, says or understands.
Assessment is an integral part of how children learn in school. It helps us understand how well children do when they start school, what they need to improve, and their interests. It also allows teachers to plan how best to support and challenge each child.
The early years foundation stage (EYFS) specifies what children from birth to five need in terms of care, learning, and development. EYFS training enables early childhood professionals to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective childcare. It provides guidelines on providing a safe and supportive environment for children as they grow up and guidance on supporting their needs at various developmental stages.
In any childcare setting, EYFS training should be on the curriculum to provide staff with a benchmark against which they can measure their performance. In addition, it ensures that all children receive an equal education regardless of where they are located.
Click here to see CPD-accredited online childcare and early years courses and resources to help you comply with your training requirements.
About the Mandatory Training Group
The Mandatory Training Group is one of the leading UK providers of CPDUK-accredited statutory and mandatory training, continuing professional development (CPD) courses, eLearning software and workforce development solutions for all sectors.
By making things simple and designing interactive e-learning content, we can provide meaningful training programs at all levels and enhance the capacity and resilience of individuals and organisations.
Click here to see our wide range of accredited childcare and early years courses and training programmes.
References and resources
HM Government (2006) - Children Act 2006.
HM Government (2021) - Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.
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