The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years. For those working in the early years – whether in a nursery, pre-school, a childminder or in a reception class in school – the EYFS outlines what you need to do to support your child.

Many parent do not realise that it is this very same EYFS curriculum that schools work from when your child is in their reception year at school. It is very much play based, i.e. learning and development through play based activities and exploring as much as possible. It is the purpose of all Early Years practitioners to plan activities based on your child’s development and interests. Many parents feel that in order for a child to learn, they must have the structure of a classroom based environment. However, research shows that play is the best form of learning, basically through experimentation can a child understand why certain things happen, i.e. mixing blue and yellow paint to make green or writing the letter b in sand can help letter formation and gross motor skills early on.

The purpose of the attached booklet is to help you as a parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS.

Children develop more rapidly during the first five years of their lives than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help you as a parent know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development covered in the EYFS.

The primary area of learning are particularly important in the first three years of a child’s life and are:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Physical Development
  3. Communication and Language

The four specific areas of learning are introduced gradually, with more focus once a child is two and depending on their development stage:

  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the World
  4. Expressive Arts and Design

In the attached guide, your child’s first five years have been divided up into six age overlapping bands. This is because every child is different and children do not grow and develop at the same rate. It highlights what you might notice your child doing at these points.

Children learn and develop through playing, exploring, being active, creative and being asked questions to help their thinking. After each age band, an example of some ideas and tips as to how you can help your child’s learning and development are given.

As you know, being a parent is very special and amazing as you watch your child grow up. It can also have challenges. We hope this booklet will help you to know how your child is developing by highlighting what to expect, remembering that all children are different. It should also help you work with your child’s key worker in the Nursery to discuss your child’s development as the same system is used to progress your child’s development.

The development of each child at at Third Door is tracked and activities planned around their interests. We record as much as we can through photographs, observations, artwork and hope to launch our online management system so you can see your child’s development on a daily basis.

Words by Shazia Mustafa, Third Door.