The Government’s Department for Education has just published a revised version of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which will come into effect from 1st September this year. Changes have been made to the EYFS for three key reasons:
• To capture new regulations
• To simplify the existing framework by removing requirements that have been deemed unnecessary
• To simplify the existing framework by removing requirements that are already stipulated in other statutory documents.
All early years practitioners will need to become familiar with the new version of the EYFS in time for its introduction this autumn. You can download the full new version from the Foundation Years website here and you can access a very helpful table which gives an overview of the new changes here. In addition, Nursery World magazine has summarised the changes in a straightforward article which makes excellent reading for both practitioners and students.
After a lot of changes and consultations in the early years sector over recent months and years, practitioners may be relieved to discover that there have been few changes to the aspects of Learning and Development within the EYFS this time around. In fact, the Early Learning Goals and the Characteristics of Effective Learning remain unchanged. This means that the practical approach taken to the planning and carrying out of play and learning activities is unlikely to change much (if at all) in many settings in response to the update.
The biggest change in this regard may come for practitioners working in settings that offer wraparound provision (before and after school provision) and/or holiday provision. This is due to the removal of a paragraph that stated that these providers should be guided by the learning and development requirements, and that they should complement learning in settings in which children spend more time. I suspect this will be warmly welcomed by many play workers, for whom “fun, freedom and flexibility” have long been important watchwords.
Over the summer, I’ll be developing new, updated resources that reflect the changes to the EYFS, which you’ll be able to access free of charge here on Planet Vocational. These will compliment my book A Practical Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that readers have the very latest information. They will include coverage of changes to the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, assessment, staffing and special educational needs. So if you haven’t yet accessed the free factsheets and other handy resources on Planet Vocational do take a look.
I’ll be back next month with the promised look at the new Early Years Educator Level 3 qualification, and with recommendations on how to plan for your own professional development.
Until then, enjoy the spring sunshine with your little ones!