Revised EYFS Takes Effect
The new Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS) came into force on 1st September 2021, replacing the previous framework, which was launched in 2017.
Originally rolled out in school settings in 2020, the revised EYFS aims to improve children’s outcomes at age 5, especially in literacy and numeracy, as well as reducing the burden of unnecessary paperwork. So far, the childcare sector has given the reforms a lukewarm reception, with some voices welcoming provisions, but expressing concerns about the balance between play and more school-like pedagogies.
At first glance, much of the framework remains familiar, with the seven areas of learning remaining the same. However, considerable depth and explanation is now offered, especially focussing on early language and vocabulary. The additional detail is intended to work in tandem with the Development Matters non-statutory curriculum, giving providers more guidance in how to achieve the framework’s goals.
Although broadly supportive of the changes, particular concern highlighted by the sector surrounds the intention of the EYFS to prepare children for their first year at school. Although no-one denies this is an important function of early years settings, some providers are worried that this may result in an over-focus on older children, at the expense of 2 and 3 year olds. However, the EYFS is intended to be a framework, enabling providers to decide how it is implemented within their own setting, rather than a set of highly prescriptive rules. Yet even this attempt to strike balance draws critique, with some arguing that there is a risk of creating mere tick-box exercises.
As ever with major changes, their true impact cannot be known until they are implemented, and both sector and policymakers will be monitoring the roll-out closely.
You can read the new EYFS Statutory Framework changes here.
The non-statutory Development Matters curriculum is available here.
Morton Michel policyholders also have access to specialist EYFS training from Flick Learning.