The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. All those involved with the care of children from birth to 5 years old are required to follow this Framework.
The EYFS states that:
The EYFS describes 'Overarching Principles' which are expected to form the basis for everyone's approach to their work with children in the early years:
The EYFS identifies seven areas of learning and development that are all important and interconnected.
They are split into 3 prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social, and emotional development. There are 4 specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world, Expressive Arts and Design.
The three prime areas are "particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive." They are then strengthened and applied through further experience of the four specific areas.
Play is at the heart of all the children's learning experiences. "Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children's development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults."
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