Following a consultation period, changes to the statutory framework known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) became available in September 2020. On 1st September 2021, the new framework came into effect and must be adhered to.
The focus is on giving more responsibility to practitioners and teachers to be able to use their professional judgement more effectively and also changing the way assessment in the early years is approached.
There are changes to the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). There are fewer of them in the current framework than in the previous and there is a much bigger focus on the development of communication and language in the early years. Mathematical goals were also revised with regards to counting, sequences and quantities.
A similar emphasis on communication and language and improving outcomes for maths foundation is present in the guidelines for Educational Programmes.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) was also been modified with the goal of giving more time to educators. Briefly, the ‘Exceeding’ judgement has been removed and 25% of settings in a local authority (LA) will not have their EYFSPs moderated.
The Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters Guidance are available alongside the statutory framework in order to inform your curriculum and there is further information about the changes to the EYFS on the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) website.