Childcare and early education

Supporting detail:

Early years foundation stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets the statutory standards that all early years providers must meet. This includes all maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools and all providers on the Early Years Register.

The EYFS aims to provide:

  • quality and consistency in all early years settings
  • a secure foundation for all children for good progress through school and life
  • partnerships between different practitioners
  • partnerships between parents or carers and practitioners
  • equality of opportunity for all children

We published a revised EYFS on 27 March 2012, which came into force on 1 September 2012. It aims to reduce burdens, including unnecessary regulation and paperwork, so professionals have more time to concentrate on supporting children.

An updated EYFS will come into effect on 1 September 2014. The changes will include amendments to the safeguarding and welfare requirements.

EYFS profile

All early years providers must complete an EYFS profile for each child in the final term of the year in which they turn 5. For most children this is the reception year in primary school.

The main purpose is to provide an accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS. The profile describes each child’s attainment against 17 early learning goals, together with a short narrative about their learning characteristics.

A revised EYFS profile came into effect in September 2012.