Children from birth to five years of age are in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is recognised as a
separate stage of learning, laying the foundations for when children begin more formal education. There is an
emphasis on learning through active play, with children encouraged to build on their individual needs and
The Early Years Foundation Stage became a statutory requirement for all Ofsted-registered childcare settings in
September 2008, which includes registered childminders, day nurseries, nursery schools, playgroups, crèches and
nursery, reception or foundation classes in primary schools.
The aim of the EYFS is to ensure that all children under five in childcare benefit from a safe, secure and happy
environment where they can play and develop, laying the foundation for success with the primary school
The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of six areas of learning and development. Within each area there are a
number of early learning goals which most children will achieve by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
EYFS Areas of Learning and Development
Personal, social and emotional development:
This area is all about developing a positive sense of self and respect for others, social skills
including dressing, undressing and washing, as well as having an enthusiasm for learning.
Communication, language and literacy:
Children develop confidence and competence in communicating, speaking and listening, listening to
stories and beginning to read and write.
Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy:
Developing a growing understanding of problem solving and numbers, through stories, songs, games
and play. Children should become comfortable with numbers and use language such as 'heavier than'
Knowledge and understanding of the world:
Learning to make sense of the world, finding out about the natural environment, using tools and
different materials to make things and exploring ICT.
Children will be helped to develop skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement and to
understand the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Developing imagination and creativity in art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play
Your child should feel that they are playing and enjoying themselves, often choosing their own activities.
Sometimes they will be encouraged to join in with activities to help them develop a skill, such as listening, using
scissors or building a model.
Jennifer's Little Blossoms blog is packed with ideas for creating a stimulating learning environment and
an exciting range of activities for children in the Early Years Foundation stage.