Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on May 27, 2024.


The early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework is a set of standards and guidelines in England that governs the care, learning, and development of children from birth to five years old. 

What is the Early years foundation stage statutory framework?

The EYFS framework makes sure that early years providers deliver consistent, high-quality experiences for children across various settings, including nurseries, preschools, reception classes, and childminders.

The framework outlines seven areas of learning and development, split into three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social, and emotional development

These areas are designed to ensure a comprehensive approach to early childhood education, focusing on both cognitive and non-cognitive skills.

The framework requires ongoing assessment to monitor children’s progress. These standards ensure children’s safety and well-being. Providers must comply with specific guidelines on child protection, health, safety, and suitability of adults working with children. This includes maintaining appropriate adult-to-child ratios and ensuring staff are well trained.

The EYFS statutory framework aims to support children’s early development, preparing them for school and laying a strong foundation for their future learning and life. It emphasizes a play-based approach to learning, recognizing that play is essential for children’s growth and development.

Example of the Early years foundation stage statutory framework

In a nursery following the EYFS framework, a group of toddlers engages in a morning activity focused on physical development. The children have access to a variety of age-appropriate equipment, such as climbing frames, balls, and soft play mats, encouraging them to develop their motor skills.

Throughout the session, observations are made to assess each child’s progress in physical development. After the activity, the children transition to a group time where they listen to a story related to personal, social, and emotional development. The story helps them learn about sharing and cooperation, supporting their social skills development.

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