Chapter 1
Written by Rachel, founder of Koru Kids and mum of 3, our childcare guide covers everything you need to know to find the right childcare for your family.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 2
Read our complete childcare guide to help you find the right childcare to suit your family.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 3
Not sure where to start with nurseries, nannies or au pairs? Read our comprehensive childcare guide to help you find the right childcare for your little one.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 4
Read our comprehensive guide to the after school or wraparound childcare choices there are in the UK, so you can find the right childcare for your family.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 5
School holidays bring freedom and fun for children, but for working parents, it can be a logistical challenge. Eight weeks in one go when you only get 28 days…
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 6
Why do families choose to use childcare agencies instead of going direct? Read our guide to find out, and make an informed decision about your childcare.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 7
If you’re new to the UK and struggling with UK childcare terminology, we get it. That’s why we’ve created this handy cheat-sheet.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 8
The cost of childcare in the UK can vary significantly depending on type of childcare, location, hours required, and age of your child.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 9
There is Government support to help you cover your childcare costs – for a full breakdown of what they are and how to access them read our guide today.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 10
Part of our comprehensive childcare guide, we break down everything to do with the EYFS, from the research its based on to how it’s kept up to date with modern life.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 11
The EYFS isn’t just for childcare providers; there’s plenty for parents to know too. Read our handy guide to what you need to know about the EYFS.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 12
In our childcare guide we’ve shared some of the best questions to ask nurseries or childminders to get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your childcare
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 13
Including what to ask for and what questions to ask to get the answers you need to hear to move forward with a nanny.
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 14
Read our guide to know what you should consider when choosing childcare that’s right for your family – it’s not about what’s right or wrong, just what’s right for you!
Rachel CarrellJun 2024
Chapter 10
What is the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)?
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Created in 2008, the EYFS is a set of guidelines for learning and development for young children (ages 0 to 5) in registered childcare settings. The Department of Education (DofE) sets the guidelines, and Ofsted, a government agency, makes sure they’re followed.

All Ofsted-registered childcare providers have to follow these standards, including nurseries, preschools, reception classes in schools, childminders and after school care. 

Here I’ve explained what it is and why providers have to follow it, but you can skip to learn more about what parents need to know about the EYFS. 

Why is the EYFS Important?

The EYFS is built on the idea that every child deserves a great start in life. With the right support, they can reach their full potential.

A child’s brain grows very quickly, especially in the first few years. By age 3, their brain is already 90% developed – this is why early childhood experiences are so important.

The EYFS helps ensure that childcare has a positive impact on this crucial development stage. It aims to give children fun and positive experiences that set them up for a happy, healthy childhood where they can thrive.

The EYFS helps to:

  • Make sure all childcare providers offer a high quality and consistent experience.
  • Give each child the chance to learn and grow at their own pace.
  • Plan activities and care that meet each child’s individual needs.

Is the EYFS still relevant?

Research on child development is constantly evolving, and the EYFS does too. The Department of Education reviews and updates the guidelines regularly, considering feedback from childcare providers and families.

The latest update was in September 2023. This helps keep the EYFS relevant in a world that’s changing fast, with things like tablets and artificial intelligence becoming more common in young children’s lives.

What research are the EYFS principles based on?

In 1908, a report called the ‘Acland Report’ looked at school attendance for young children. It said classrooms should be spacious, well-ventilated, and bright. It also stressed that these young children shouldn’t be pressured mentally or physically.

Over 20 years later, the ‘Hadow Report’ focused on infant and nursery schools. It encouraged letting children explore and learn through experiences. This report said these experiences should help children develop physically, mentally, and morally. It also said teachers should plan their own lessons and activities, focusing on these experiences instead of just memorising facts.

In 1967, the ‘Plowden Report’ looked at children in primary schools. This report recognized that children are individuals, even if they’re the same age. They may be at different stages in their development, so they need different levels of attention and a flexible learning plan. Teachers shouldn’t just focus on test scores.

Since 1989, there’s been a big push to improve early years and primary education. A series of reports looked at good practices in different areas, like language, maths, and science. These reports led to the ‘Rumbold Report’ in 1990, which focused on ‘Starting with Quality’. This report is a lot like today’s EYFS. It said learning should be fun and children should be actively involved through a variety of subjects. The report also highlighted the importance of making children feel valued and the significant role of adults in their education. These ideas from various reports helped shape the EYFS framework we have today.

Learning & Development requirements

This section of the EYFS focuses on supporting children’s individual learning and development from birth to the end of their reception year. There are seven areas of learning that are formed into two categories: prime and specific areas of learning. 

There are three prime areas which are the foundations of learning: 

  • communication and language
  • physical development 
  • personal, social and emotional development. 

These are the building blocks to enable children to start accessing the four specific areas of learning which are: 

  • literacy
  • understanding the world
  • expressive art and design
  • mathematics. 

Children will be exposed to the three prime areas from birth with the specific areas being entwined into their learning but more prevalent from around the age of two years old. 

For each of the seven areas of learning there are targets to meet by the end of reception. These are known as the Early Learning Goals and are assessed at the end of children’s reception year.


It’s important for practitioners and parents and carers to understand how children are progressing, which is why there are EYFS assessments.

The assessments also help to plan age and stage appropriate learning opportunities while highlighting any areas where there may be gaps in learning that need to be focused upon. 

Assessments should be on-going, and that there are three points for statutory assessments in the first five years of children’s lives.

The first statutory assessment is the Progress check at age two, completed between 24-36 months old and focuses on the prime areas of learning, identifying the child’s strengths and any areas where progress is less than expected. 

The second statutory assessment is the Baseline assessment, which happens at the start of reception, and benchmarks what a child knows when they enter school.

The third statutory assessment is at the end of a child’s reception year. This will give a picture of children’s knowledge, understanding and abilities as they move into main school classes.

The mandatory assessments are non-formal, which means practitioners observe children during play to gather information on each child’s capabilities over the time they’re with them. They create setting and play scenarios that widen the children’s experience, skills and knowledge. 

Safeguarding & Welfare requirements

A large section of the EYFS is Safeguarding and Welfare, where they detail all the rules the providers must follow to keep children safe and healthy. 

It defines all the relevant qualifications staff need to have to work in an early years childcare provider, like paediatric first aid and safeguarding training. It also details safeguarding measures, policies, procedures, risk assessments and legislation that must be followed. 

There are clear instructions on child protection – how to protect children from harm and safer recruitment. This section really focuses on how those caring for children must keep children safe and what is required while children are in their care.