The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in it’s own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

The Overarching Principles

Four guiding principles should shape the practice in early years settings. These are:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/ or carers
  • Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Prime areas of learning are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building the capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. They are:

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to
develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities

Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

These prime areas form the basis for planning for children between the ages of 3months to 3 years. Your child’s key person will plan activities to meet your child’s individual needs and current interests based on the developmental milestones for these areas of learning.

The Specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with the opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places and technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

As your child grows in confidence and abilities in the prime areas your child’s key person will widen their opportunities to include learning in the specific areas.


The Learning Journey Day Nursery believes play is crucial to young children’s learning and the delivery of the EYFS framework. Play helps children build their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and to relate to others.

Practitioners will provide age appropriate, stimulating environments to encourage children’s curiosity, learning and development through play.  Children learn best through play and practitioners will observe your child as he/she plays to help them plan new and challenging experiences building on your child’s current interests.

Three characteristics of effective learning will be used to reflect on how your child is developing learning experiences. They are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.