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Parents’ Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents. The framework has been revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. The new revised framework is statutory from April 2017. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.

It will set out:

  • The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare

  • The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge

  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS

  • Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”


What does it mean for me as a parent?


Ensuring my child’s safety

Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.




You can find out about the quality of early years providers in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government’s official inspection body for early years, Ofsted, has to say about it. You can find this information at Find an Ofsted inspection report or view First Steps Nursery’s at Ofsted | First Steps Nursery for the Lowton branch and Ofsted | First Steps Private Day Nursery (Pennington) for the Pennington branch. 


How my child will be learning


The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.


Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;

  • Physical development; and

  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.  As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;

  • Mathematics;

  • Understanding the world; and

  • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child at First Steps Nursery will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

As a mum/dad or carer, how can I help with my child’s learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. 


Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.

  • Sing and tell nursery rhymes

  • Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about

  • Cook / bake together

  • On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes

  • Use the weather – shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary

  • Share a book

  • Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day

  • Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines

  • Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch

How can I find out how my child is getting on?

It is important that you and the professionals caring for your child work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child. These conversations will need to be with your child’s “key person”. This is the person who:

  • Is your main point of contact within the setting

  • Helps your child to become settled, happy and safe

  • Is responsible for your child’s care, development and learning

  • Takes a careful note of your child’s progress, sharing this with you and giving you ideas as to how to help your child at home


When your child is 2


At some point after your child turns 2, the staff at First Steps nursery will give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:

  • communication and language;

  • physical development; and

  • personal, social and emotional development.

This is called the progress check at age 2 and is done when your child is approximately 30 months. This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any where they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).

Where can I go for further information?

The most important place to find out more is by asking staff within your child’s rooms, we welcome parents asking as many questions as they need to. You may want to find out what is on offer at your local Start Well Family Centre.

Try to speak to your child's key person as often as possible about what your child had been doing, what they have enjoyed, what they need to be doing more of and what you can do at home.

You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at EYFS Statutory Framework | From pregnancy to children aged 5 ( The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.

You can also find more information about what to expect when your child is growing up and tips on how to help your child with their learning from the What to expect, when? document 0778-What-to-Expect-When-2018.pdf (

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