The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to all children from birth to five years (until the end of their Reception Year at school) in early years settings. The EYFS aims to ensure all children have the best start in life regardless of the background. The EYFS’s aims to achieve this by ensuring each early years provider operates to the same standards, implementing the Statutory Requirements and the good practice guidance. Key principles of the EYFS are divided into four themes:
A Unique Child
All children are individuals who learn from birth to be ‘capable, confident and self assured’.
Loving and secure relationships encourage children to be independent and strong.
The role of the surrounding environment is to support and extend each child’s learning, both within the setting and the surrounding community.
Learning and Development
All areas of learning are interconnected. Children learn and develop in different ways at different paces. (DCSF 2008)
In practice the EYFS underpins all areas of The Willows policies and procedures including; the use of a key person system; planning to meet the needs of individual children through observation and assessment; working in partnership with parents, carers and outside agencies to support children within their families; safeguarding practices; and inclusive practices.