Context and principles for early years provisions. The Early Years Foundation Stage was brought into force in September 2008 by orders and regulations which come under section 39 of the Childcare Act 2006. All of the early years providers are required to use the EYFS to ensure a flexible approach to children’s care, learning and development that enables young children to achieve the five Every Child Matters (ECM) outcomes. These 5 outcomes are staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing.
The EYFS is used in many different settings and some of these are schools, nurseries, pre-schools, playgroups, after school clubs, breakfast clubs and child minders. This statutory framework sets out legal requirements to relate to the learning and development of children and the legal requirements relating to welfare. There are early learning goals which are the educational programmes and the assessment arrangements. The welfare requirements are given legal force by regulations made under section 39 of the Childcare Act 2006.
Together the order, the regulations and the statutory framework documents make up the legal basis of the EYFS. Each individual child is supported by the EYFS because it is there to support the needs and interests of each individual child. There are six areas covered by the early learning goals and educational programmes. They are equally important and depend on each other to support the rounded approach to child development. All these areas much be delivered through planned, purposeful play with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. These six areas are; * Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Communication, Language and Literacy. * Problem-solving, Reasoning and Numeracy. * Knowledge and Understanding of the World. * Physical Development. * Creative Development. * The EYFS has partnerships with parents and from this we know when parents and practitioners in the early years work together it has a direct impact on the children’s development and learning. The EYFS does observations to look at and listening to children to find out how they are developing, what they like doing and what they are learning through their play and the other experiences they are given.
Assessment in the EYFS is of two main types. The first type is on-going assessment which is what practitioners do on a daily basis to make decisions about what the child has learned or can do already. This is to help the child move on in their learning. Another type of assessment known as summative assessment takes place twice in the Revised EYFS. Firstly when a child is between 24 and 36 months, the outcomes of this are recorded and parents and practitioners use the information gained to identify a child’s strengths and their learning needs.
The second assessment takes place towards the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is to sum up all the different information from on-going assessments that have been made about the child. Planning in the early years is about meeting young children’s needs so that they can play and learn happily in ways which will help them develop skills and knowledge across the Prime and Specific areas of learning in the EYFS. Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage is non-statutory guidance material which is intended to support practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.
It shows how the four themes of the EYFS and the principles that inform them work together to support babies and children. A progress check is done when the child is two years old which was developed by the National Children’s Bureau. This check covers the legal requirements for the EYFS. It is done to check how the child is progressing. There is also a check done at 5 years old which is when children are starting school. The statutory framework is split into 3 sections which are the introduction, the learning and development requirements and the welfare requirements.
The introduction is an overview which explains the aims and legal requirements. The learning and development requirements is the early learning goals and are a statutory requirement for all Ofsted registered providers. The welfare requirements are universal and have to be met by all Ofsted registered settings. There are 4 main themes to the EYFS which are a unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments and learning and development. A unique child theme is there because every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
The positive relationships are there so children can learn to be strong and independent through these positive relationships. Enabling environments is a theme because Children learn and develop which gives them experiences which respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers. Learning and development is a theme as it means children develop and learn in different ways and the framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are many different theorists which have very different approaches on the early years education for children. Some of these theorists are Reggio Emilia, Friedrich Frobel, Rudolf Steiner, Susan Isaacs, Margaret MacMillan and Maria Montessori. I am only going to explain in detail about 3 of these. The 3 I have chosen are Reggio Emilia, Friedrich Frobel and Margaret MacMillan. The Reggio Emilia approach is an early childhood education approach and was started in a town in the Northern end of Italy in 1940’s and is now worldwide.
This approach values the potential of all children to think, learn and construct knowledge. This approach gives children the right to be recognised as subjects of individual, legal, civil and social rights. The Reggio Emilia approach offers training materials and courses which are designed to promote this approach throughout Italy and the world. This approach is a progressive child-centred approach to education which believes children must be free to discover and learn for themselves. A teacher which teaches in the Reggio Emilia approach allows children to do many things and supports them in many ways e. . they allow the children to ask their own questions and to explore and generate many possibilities. The teacher provides opportunities for the children to communicate their own ideas to other children. The Friedrich Frobel approach enables children to be cherished, simulated and to flourish their full potential. Friedrich set up education systems in Germany which are still used to this day. Friedrich Frobel believes all children are like tiny flowers, they are varied, they need care but each child is beautiful alone and glorious when seen in the community of peers.
He done this approach for children from birth to 7 years old and it recognises how unique each child is and every child’s different areas of development as a whole. This approach provides an environment which is safe, intellectually challenging, allows free access to a rich range of materials, opportunities for play and which work close in partnership with parents and other skilled adults. The Margaret MacMillan approach emphasis relationships, feelings and ideas in the physical aspect of learning. It also works in close partnership with parents and provides play for children as Margaret believes it helps children apply what they understand.
Margaret believes in first-hand experience and active learning so she provides most of her learning through play because she believes this helps the children. She also believes children can’t learn if they are undernourished, poorly clothes, sick or ill, with poor teeth, poor eyesight, ear infections, rickets and so on. Therefore Margaret provides everything possible which is needed to help these things e. g. free school clothes and meals. She will not allow a child which is ill or sick into her environment as she believes they should be at home getting better.