It is important to understand the principles of the EYFS Frameworks as not doing so can impact the child’s development by them not receiving the appropriate stimulus for learning. In September 2008 England introduced the EYFS as a statutory curriculum for ages 0-5, for children who are educated in settings such as nurseries, schools, under child minder care, after school and holiday clubs. In England there are 6 areas of learning which professionals must focus and plan on, there are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Creative Development (CD)
Physical Development (PD)
Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW)
Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN)
Communication, Language and Literacy (CLL)
By using these to plan for each individual child, practitioners are able to find delays within certain aspects, and also help children to improve – where possible – in these areas when needed.
National and Local guidance materials are used in settings to support the input of the EYFS. The Nursery follows the guidance materials and the Nursery Manager will update staff of any new guidance materials available.
The development of the curricula has been significantly influenced by different approaches, here are the different approaches and how they have affected current provisions:
Opportunities for child-initiated play should be provided by practitioners. Practitioners are prompted to think about how rich the environment is for the children by a theme called ‘Enabling environments’. There is an emphasis on outdoor and sensory play, and also on children learning through play with other children.
Opportunities for child-initiated play should be provided by practitioners Practitioners are encouraged to talk to children about their learning.
Children should be observed individually in order to provide for their play and learning. Children should be sufficiently challenged in order to progress their learning. Suggestions are given as to what children need according to their stage of development by EYFS guidance.
Adult directed play should be planned and child initiated play should be provided also. Play with natural objects is encouraged for babies and toddlers.
The partnership model of working with carers was formed to enable parents and carers to have an input in their child’s educations, by sharing ideas, information and thoughts about the best way forward for the child. The following things are incorporated into this model: Open door policy – parents don’t have to make appointments to speak with practitioners.
Observations and assessments – parents have access to their child’s development records, and are able to contribute towards them, as children behave differently at home so practitioners may never see a child do a certain thing.
Planning and decision making – parents are involved in decision making when it comes to planning the learning environment, and also towards their child’s planning if they wish.
Working alongside practitioners – parents are invited to work with the practitioners, for example at open days, coffee mornings, and helping generally.
Practitioners learning from parents or carers – parents know more about their child than any practitioner, so it’s helpful for them to share information about the child that the practitioner may need/want to know.
The emphasis on personal and individual development – practitioners should plan for each child as an individual, as one thing that one child may do, another may be unable to.
There are always barriers which prevent parents from participating in some way, some of these could be;
Time – parents may not have time to say everything they want to say, so in order to enable them to give practitioners all of the information they want them to know, or that they want from the practitioners, they could: exchange emails, have phone call conversations, attend parents evenings/meetings and also home-link books could be given to the child, for the parents/practitioners to write things in from both home and nursery.
Confidence – some parents may lack enough confidence to speak to their child’s practitioner, or feel that they don’t have enough experience to offer a significant input. To overcome this, the first contact with a practitioner should be positive and the parent should be made to feel valued/needed in their child’s development within the setting.
Language and literacy needs – some parents may not be able to speak or read/write in English, so they should be made to know that they are more than welcome to bring an interpreter, or are entitled to ask for documents in another language where possible.
Disability – many people have disabilities, and should always be made to feel valued just as much as any other parents. Obviously, breaking the barriers for disability differs because of the type of disability, e.g. if a parent is deaf, things about their child’s day should be written down. If they have visual impairments, voice recordings could be made or larger prints could become available.
Some parents may not wish to participate or take up opportunities offered to them. It should be made clear that they are under no obligation to do so, as a relaxed approach can make the parent feel more comfortable. Evaluation questionnaires are useful as it gives parents who don’t wish to participate in things like parents meetings etc. to still have their say. Multi-agency working operates effectively in early years when it is made clear to the parents that sometimes outside agencies must intervene, however no information would be shared without the parents consent. Confidentiality should be maintained at all times and parents should have help and access to use the outside organisations when needed.