The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017, states ‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.’ The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early year’s providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
Woolstone Pre-school uses the information they know about the individual needs and interests of the children to plan a range of stimulating and suitably challenging opportunities to support all children’s learning and development across the seven areas of learning.