Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.

Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.

A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. (EYFS, 2014).

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life (EYFS 2014).

The EYFS seeks to provide: Quality and consistency – in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;

  • A secure foundation – through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
  • Partnership working – between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;
  • Equality of opportunity – and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

The EYFS is a framework to guide the work of all Early Years Practitioners and it is grouped into four overarching principles which are:

  • A Unique Child; this recognises that each child, from birth, is a constant learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured. (DfE, 2014)
  • Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent. (DfE, 2014)
  • Enabling Environments: Children learn and develop well in (Enabling Environments), in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers. (DfE, 2014)
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates: The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. (DfE, 2014).

Areas of Learning and Development There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.  Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.  Effective practice is built on these three Prime areas. (DfE, 2014).

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and literacy
  • Physical development
  • Personal, Social and emotional development

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

These specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive art and design

(Please ask if more information is wanted on any of these areas of learning and development)The Early Years Foundation Stage

Through the areas of learning and development, children will work towards ‘The Early Learning Goals’. These goals provide a loose expectation of a child’s individual learning and development throughout their early years until the end of their reception year in primary education. Some children will have reached these goals, while others, depending on their individual needs will continue to be towards them.

At Downview Nursery, we recognise that parents/carers are a child’s first educator, and that they know more about their child than we do! We work closely with them to help lay these foundations and help children to reach their full potential.

Children learn best from experiences that are suitable for their stage of development. Play is the key to the way young children learn, and is crucial to the delivery of the EYFS.

At Downview Nursery, our staff look closely and observe the children in our care, thinking constantly about their needs, interests and their stages of development and use this information to plan for and provide a suitable, yet challenging and enjoyable, learning experience for each child. We provide well planned experiences both indoors and outdoors to support children in their learning. Each child is supported individually and makes progress at their own pace.

All children, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, home language, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable learning environment.

The EYFS is about you and your child’s setting, working in partnership to ensure your child’s needs are best met.

Learning starts at home. Parents are children’s first educators in life and continue to play a significant role in their child’s development. Play both indoors and outdoors is a recognised way in which children learn and develop. We recognise that by the time your child starts nursery they will already have a wealth of knowledge learnt from their families and different settings they may have attended.

We are regulated by OFSTED and are members of the Pre School Learning Alliance (PLA).