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Northern Ireland


Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced to enable evaluation of childcare providers and to ensure the same goals and principles are used in every form of childcare. From September 2008 all childcare providers are required by law to work with the EYFS.
The principles of practise for all settings to be guided by are;

  • A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self- assured.
  • Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  • Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
  • Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter- connected.

The EYFS sets out six areas of learning;

  • Communication, language and literacy – language for communication and thinking, linking sounds and letters, reading and writing, and handwriting.
  • Personal, social and emotional development – dispositions and attitudes, self-confidence and self-esteem, making relationships, behaviour and self-control, self-care, and sense of community.
  • Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy – numbers as labels and for counting, calculating, shape, space and measures.
  • Creative development – being creative; responding to experiences, expressing and communicating ideas, exploring media and materials, creating music and dance, developing imagination and imaginative play.
  • Physical development – movement and space, health and bodily awareness, using equipment and materials.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world – exploration and investigation, designing and making, ICT, time, place and communities.

If your child attends more than one type of setting it is a requirement for the settings to work together on your child’s development.

children laying on the grass