'Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage' is non-statutory guidance material intended to support practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS, and has been written by Helen Moylett and Nancy Stewart for Early Education.
It shows how the four themes of the EYFS and the principles that inform them work together to support babies and children. It illustrates how the characteristics of effective early learning, which appear at the top of every page of Development Matters, can be supported and extended by adults as well as how they underpin the Prime and Specific areas of learning and development.
'Development is not an automatic process,' the guidance says. 'It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.'
The age/stage bands are the same as in the previous guidance, and overlap as 'babies and young children develop at their own rate and in their own ways.' Small photographs of babies and children are used to mark each age band.
Development Matters is intended to be used as part of daily observation, assessment and planning, as well as for summative judgements at various points in the EYFS.
'A Know How Guide' to the EYFS progress check at age two, developed by the National Children's Bureau, is also available, and provides comprehensive advice on the new check, which is intended to enable earlier identification of development needs, so that support can be put in place as early as possible. It includes case studies and examples of a progress check.
On the way
Also due to be published in summer 2012 is 4Children's document 'EYFS for Parents' to give parents an overview of the new framework and to illustrate how they can support their children.
Settings wil be able to add further information to the document.
The new EYFS Profile Handbook will be published by the Standards and Testing Agency in autumn 2012, and the Profile will be trialled this spring and summer.
Birth to Three Matters will be available on the Foundation Years website after Easter.