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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Early Years Foundation Stage (birth to five years old)

Schools and early years providers have to follow a structure of learning, development and care for children from birth to five years old. This is called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and it enables your child to learn through a range of activities.

Where the EYFS applies

All maintained/independent schools or registered early years providers in the private, voluntary and independent sectors caring for children from birth to five must use the EYFS. This includes:

  • reception and nursery classes in maintained and independent schools
  • day nurseries
  • childminders
  • playgroups
  • after school and breakfast clubs
  • holiday playschemes
  • Sure Start Children’s Centres

For more information about what type of early years services are available in your area, ask your local authority.

Where it doesn't apply

The following groups are not covered:

  • mother and toddler groups
  • nannies
  • short-term, occasional care (eg crèches)

What does the Early Years Foundation Stage do?

The EYFS ensures:

  • children learn through play
  • providers work closely with parents
  • you are kept up to date on your child’s progress
  • the welfare, learning and all-round development of children with different backgrounds and levels of ability, including those with special educational needs and disabilities

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